Daley rips McCormick Place unions a new one
Now here's a good idea from Mayor Richard M. Daley: Chicago and Illinois should get out of the convention business at the troubled McCormick Place.
That goes well beyond a set of recommendations from an interim board that, among other things, such allowed exhibitors to choose their own electrical service, order food from outside the building, do more of their own booth set-up and deal with fewer unions.
The board's recommendations were downright revolutionary, considering the gripe that the unions had on McCormick Place, charging exhibitors outrageous fees for setting up booths, plugging in an appliance or bringing in cans of soft-drinks. Such work rules have been a major reason for conventions fleeing Chicago with its lucrative jobs for other cities.
But Daley has done them one up with his suggestion that McCormick Place's only jobs should be renting space and during public relations. Let the exhibitors run their own conventions. Said the mayor:
Get out of that business. (McCormick Place) should be basically a shell. And the only thing we do is PR. The only thing we do is sell and bring conventions here, and basically the operation is the show manager running those shows, and not McCormick Place.
Is Daley trying to alienate the unions? He's doing a good job of it, and Chicago is the better for it.