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by Kaylee Hultgren | January 13, 2010

This week Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley joined the officials of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority in announcing MPEA's plans to introduce labor reform legislation in the Illinois General Assembly, in an effort to combat labor rules and contractor practices that have recently hindered the city's ability to land and retain convention business. According to the MPEA, conventions and trade shows at McCormick place generate more than 65,000 jobs and $8 billion in economic impact for the state. The proposed legislation aims to do the following: establish the MPEA as a public employer under the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act, which would let the organization negotiate contracts with show labor, including workers employed by contractors; allow MPEA to prohibit strikes; and provide the authority to audit contracts and agreements to ensure employee costs are transparent and made known to customers. For additional aspects of the legislation, click here. Additionally, the MPEA announced a streamlining of the organization's operations, which it purports will result in cutting costs. As a result of an early retirement program and other reductions in 2010, the authority will have more than 40 percent few employees than 2007, which will reduce overall operational costs.