CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago might have become more attractive to trade shows and conventions.
CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Gov. Pat Quinn reached a major labor agreement involving stagehands and electricians at McCormick Place and Navy Pier.
The city announced Tuesday that electricians have given jurisdiction over display areas up to stagehands, in exchange for a 10-year deal protecting everything else they do.
The deal is expected to convince more shows and conventions to stay in Chicago, or come here from other convention cities like Orlando and Las Vegas.
“Fighting for jurisdiction will kill us. We’ll end up with more rather than less,” Electrical workers business manager Terry Allen said. “If the stagehands want to do a production, and that brings in these two shows right off the bat, they might do that production, but we’re doing work that never was gonna happen before.”
This agreement comes on the heels of a similar deal involving Teamsters and carpenters, which allowed exhibitors to do a lot more of their own set up.
Emanuel said the city has experienced a turnaround since legislative reforms and labor deals have brought more trade shows to Chicago.
“Business is up $3 billion more in shows,” he said. “Hotel occupancy is up; hotel construction is up.”
Today, the city announced three more shows have either signed up or expanded: the Incentive and Business Travel show, Book Expo America and the Comic and Entertainment.
Emanuel also feels that Chicago should have a casino, which he often says would make the city even more attractive to trade shows. He couldn’t resist a playful jab at Quinn, who is heading out to recruit trade show travelers, but who has so far refused to sign the bill that includes a Chicago casino.
“Governor and I have a lot to work through,” Emanuel said. “When he leaves for Boston, I’ll sign it for him.”