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    "The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people."
    Cesar Chavez

    :: Thursday, February 08, 2007 ::

    Labor Deal's Nice Payoff - By Tom Belden, Philadelphia Inquirer
    A lot of people still have this idea that the labor unions are running the center,' Guise said. 'In fact, the unions are working with the center... to make this a more customer-friendly environment.'

    The change started more than three years ago, when the customer-satisfaction agreement detailed for the first time the tasks that required union labor and the tasks that trade-show exhibitors could do themselves.

    In booths of 300 square feet or less, exhibitors can use hand tools to do most of their own setup and teardown work. At conventions, anyone working for the show manager may place easels with temporary signs at meeting-room doors - a job that once required one union worker to put up the easel and another to place the sign on it.

    Also helping was creation of the job of labor broker for the center, a position held currently by Elliott-Lewis Corp., one of the region's major construction-management firms. Trade-show managers tell Elliott-Lewis how many Teamsters, laborers, carpenters, riggers, electricians or stagehands they need, and the broker contacts the unions to supply the workers.
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