July 31, 2013:
First a little background. The Philadelphia Convention Center is not doing too well booking events there.
A consistent theme has been the poor service that customers receive from the labor unions they are forced to deal with at the convention center (and the increased cost that goes with it. In one instance, the Convention Center lost a $15 million booking because the organizer could not get permission from the unions for exhibitors to use electric screwdrivers. Not surprisingly, there are numerous instances of arcane labor rules or poor customer service being blamed for the loss of business.
Given the history of labor related problems, it is reasonable for people with expertise in labor relations to be named to the Convention Center Board, but the latest appointee might not be the best choice:
"There are six unions that work at the center. Most of the complaints are about workers with the Carpenters Union, whom bookers find rude, hard to work with and prone to submitting too much overtime. The union business agent, Ed Coryell Jr., also comes under a lot of criticism…
"Recently, the center’s board got a new member who is something of an expert on labor matters. It is Ed Coryell Sr., president of the Carpenters Union and father of Ed Jr.
"Just to make this clear: Coryell Sr. will have a hand in the new contract both as a member of management and as chief negotiator for his union. It’s enough to make your head spin.
"Under the convention center law, various state and local political entities get to pick a member of the 15-member board. Coryell’s name was advanced by two Philadelphia Democratic senators, Anthony Hardy Williams and Vincent Hughes." (Via Axis Philly, emphasis added)
Hopefully, the rest of the General Assembly keeps this in mind the next time the Convention Center comes crying to them for more tax money.
Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania (CAP) is a non-profit organization founded to raise the standard of living of all Pennsylvanians by restoring limited government, economic freedom, and personal responsibility. By empowering the Commonwealth’s employers and taxpayers to break state government’s "Iron Triangle" of career politicians, bureaucrats, and Big Government lobbyists, this restoration will occur and Pennsylvania will prosper.