New Javits Pact Raises Teamster Wages; Lowers Sunday Rate

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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New York, NY – The International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center agreed on a new contract that lowered the wage premium the union’s members receive for working on Sundays, but raised the overall pay rate.

In a notice to show managers sent out on March 24, the center announced that, effective immediately, Teamsters would earn time-and-a-half for working Sunday rather than the double time they made under the previous contract. The holiday premium remains at double time.

Teamsters Local 237, which performs set-up for trade shows at Javits Center, received an increase in their hourly wage along with improvements to their benefits package. The amount of the pay hike was not announced.

“Both parties wanted a new agreement,” said Tony Bracco, general manager of the center. “It went smoothly.”

Bracco told Trade Show Executive that the new contract, which runs through 2012, would make it more affordable for trade shows to move in on weekends. “It makes Sunday a more user-friendly day,” he said. “Otherwise, shows that open on Tuesday are trying to cram everything in on Monday.”

The move was welcomed by the trade show industry as a solid step toward reducing the cost of running events at Javits Center. “In these economic times especially, we applaud this move and any move that keeps costs under control and the Javits Center a competitive venue,” said Mike Ruberry, vice president of operations, at GLM. “Looking at the big picture, all parties, including labor, will benefit if the building is an affordable trade show destination.”

Concerns remain within the industry about the stalled plans to expand Javits Center. “The new contract will not be that significant in the grand scheme of things, but every little bit does help,” said John O’Connell, executive vice president and COO of Freeman, who doubles as a leader of Friends of Javits, a grassroots organization that represents the views of the industry in regards to Javits Center.

Reach Tony Bracco at (212) 216-2217 or tbracco@javitscenter.com; John O’Connell at (781) 380-7550 or john.oconnell@freemanco.com; Mike Ruberry at (914) 421-3268 or mike_ruberry@glmshows.com