Report: labor costs still hurting convention center

The expanded Pennsylvania Convention Center is slated to open this year.  A report from a consulting firm says Philadelphia is continuing to lose business to other cities because of high labor costs at the Convention Center.


The report written by the Florida consulting firm Crossroads Consulting Services says from 2007 to 2009, high labor costs were by far the biggest factor causing the Convention Center to lose bookings to other cities.  Center CEO Ahmeenah Young says there is nothing new in the report.


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“What it doesn’t say, because remember timing is everything, is that we have begun addressing these union problems in conjunction with the union so that again that we are responding to our customer base,” said Young.


John Dougherty is head of Electricians Local 98 and he’s upset there hasn’t been movement by anyone other than the unions at the facility.


“I tried to sit down two years ago to talk about the cost differences with other facilities and the competitive adjustments we could have made,” said Dougherty.  “I have not had anyone sit down with me at all.”


Dougherty corrected himself, saying he was approached on Thursday by the contractor who oversees work at the center, but emphasizes management at the facility isn’t helping matters.

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