The Philadelphia Convention Center still has labor questions

    As the Philadelphia Convention Center looks to a March opening there is still plenty of worry over the old complaint that labor in the building costs too much for vendors.

    An expanded Philadelphia Convention Center is set to open in March. There are still questions as to whether the center has put its labor woes behind it.

    A deal struck in 2003 gives the convention center the right to have carpenters, electricians, stage hands and others work interchangeably.  The move could save time and money but has not been implemented.

    Tom Muldoon is the head of the Convention and Visitors Bureau, he says convention planners don’t like paying two guys to do work that one could do easily.

    “The customer sometimes is confused, sometimes feels they are paying more money for a simple job,” Muldoon says.

    The unions say it isn’t their fault.  Pat Gillespie is head of the building trades council.  He says workers are just waiting for orders.

    “To have a guy like Muldoon say “it ain’t happening” well, that’s not our fault, but yet we get blamed,” Gillespie says.

    A consultant says the labor agreement in place until 20-13 prohibits removing any of the six unions that work in the convention center.

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