IAEE Asks City Hall to Rescind San Jose Teamsters Exclusive

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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San Jose, CA – The International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) asked San Jose’s city leaders to scuttle the controversial new labor agreement at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center.

In a letter sent September 15 to Mayor Chuck Reed and the city council, the IAEE board of directors said the agreement would lead to higher labor costs for trade show organizers and leave them vulnerable to liability lawsuits from injured workers and grievances from a union local that has been effectively barred from the center.

As of August 1, all labor at McEnery is provided by Local 287 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. The deal, which was put together by Team San Jose, replaces the earlier arrangement in which members of Local 85 in San Francisco were also included in the labor pool.

The IAEE and other industry associations contend general service contractors are still bound by earlier contracts they signed with Local 85 and could face legal challenges and grievances if the San Francisco members are not allowed to work in San Jose.

Below, find a copy of the news announcement by IAEE in its entirety, as well as the full letter to Mayor Chuck Reed from IAEE president Steven Hacker.

Reach IAEE President Steven Hacker at (972) 687-9204 or shacker@iaee.com

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IAEE Board of Directors Says San Jose Exclusive Labor Program is Detrimental

Calls on Mayor Reed and the San Jose City Council to Set the New Program Aside

DALLAS – 15 September 2009 – Calling Team San Jose’s recent seizure of all Teamster labor at the McEnery Convention Center a plan primarily designed to generate new revenue for that convention center, the board of directors of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) is calling upon the city’s Mayor and City Council to rescind the program immediately.

IAEE says that the new program eliminates competition and like most exclusive in-house services, is very likely to drive customers’ costs much higher while driving down service levels. It also tramples upon an already existing collect bargaining agreement that was negotiated by the general service contractors who service most of the business in the McEnery Convention Center with Teamsters Local 85 that runs through the end of March 2011. General service contractors who refuse to agree to the new exclusive labor program are not permitted to work in the building. If they do accept the terms of the new agreement they face grievances from Teamsters Local 85 who has already warned at least one contractor who has worked an event in the building under the new plan that they have violated their agreement.

To make matters even worse, says IAEE, the new plan exposes exhibition and event organizers, exhibitors and general service contractors to serious liability exposures because San Jose’s exclusive labor agreement renders them third parties not covered by the exclusive remedies of workers compensation insurance.

The new exclusive labor plan also improperly intrudes into the business contracts of general service contractors and their organizer and exhibitor customers, some that run for many more years. Team San Jose’s new program also assaults key provisions of its own existing building leases with customers who have already agreed to bring their events to San Jose.

IAEE President Steven Hacker, CAE communicated its concerns directly to Mayor Chuck Reed and the San Jose City Council on 15 September 2009.

Contact Susan Brower, CMM, CCP, Vice President of Marketing & Communications, IAEE, (972) 687-9207 or sbrower@iaee.com

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15 September 2009

 

The Honorable Chuck Reed
Mayor of San Jose
Office of the Mayor
200 E. Santa Clara Street
San Jose, CA 95113

RE: McEnery Convention Center Exclusive In-House Teamsters Labor

 

Dear Mayor Reed:

Team San Jose’s unilateral seizure of all Teamsters labor at McEnery Convention Center in August 2009 is contrary to the stated position of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) regarding exclusive in-house services and, we believe, is detrimental to the interests of exhibition organizers, exhibitors and general service contractors. Team San Jose’s exclusive labor program improperly intrudes into existing collective bargaining agreements and is destined to result in substantial litigation. It also interferes with business contracts that are now in force between general service contractors and their customers. It exposes organizers, exhibitors and general service contractors to new and potentially serious legal liabilities. The new program also violates existing lease agreements that are now in place between Team San Jose and event organizers.

 

While Team San Jose says its program will improve the customers’ experience in that building, we believe quite the contrary will be the case. The costs of doing business in McEnery Convention Center are destined to increase as the direct result of this program. We believe that Team San Jose’s principle motivation for imposing this program is to provide the McEnery Convention Center with a new source of revenue. IAEE believes that revenues will instead sharply decrease as the result of the loss of business that will result from this ill-conceived program.

 

IAEE strongly opposes Team San Jose’s exclusive labor program. We urge you and the San Jose City Council to exercise its leadership by immediately ordering Team San Jose to rescind its flawed exclusive in-house labor program.

 

Opposing all but the most essential exhibition hall exclusive in-house services, such as those that bear directly upon the health and safety of building occupants, is a long-held position of IAEE. Because exclusive in-house services eliminate the forces of free market competition they almost always result in diminished levels of service and higher costs to customers.

 

Sincerely,

 

Steven Hacker, CAE
President