A union at the Pennsylvania Convention Center has opted to go out on strike.
Talks broke down between the Convention Center’s management and the carpenters union over work rule changes. In the hopes of luring more business, the private company SMG is trying to enact reforms it has put in place at similar facilities in other cities.
Several unions at the Convention Center are negotiating their first contracts with SMG. The company was brought in to change the culture at the center, which, in the past. has been criticized for onerous union rules.
Greg Fox, chairman of the Convention Center Authority, said it’s a matter of giving convention attendees the ability of do things in Philadelphia they can do in other cities, such as building booths and displays.
“There are tens of thousands of hospitality jobs that rely on the major events hosted by the center,” Fox said. “If we are to remain competitive and busy, we have to have a different service model that is more efficient, less of a hassle and less expensive.”
The union did not respond to calls for comment.