Daley rips McCormick Place unions a new one


McCormick Place workers setting up a show

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. 


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  • I think that with his demands for givebacks from city unions, or if not, imposing layoffs, has already done that. It seems like Daley is showing some economic sense. Now, if he would only follow through on Walmart....

    But this observation seems to add to the observation I was going to make before this piece of junk software from the Tribune crashed--the talk about Congressman A a/k/a Presidential Adviser A running for mayor when Daley quits will be 2011, not 2015.

    ... Unless Daley thinks he can win with only suburban, conservative support, sans unions.

  • Did anyone see the list of pols on McPiers board? It was full of cronyism from day 1.Look at the list that marched through there.Double and triple dippers,don't let that crook from the fifth floor come across as some kind of genius.What a leader,look around this city and really see what a mismanaged place Chicago has become..

  • In reply to waterbill:

    Good point. I advocated about 4 years ago that Daley get rid of the incompetent management at the CTA. While they can't sell off the operation, they can do like Los Vegas or Phoenix and bring in a private manager. You know, however, that the political hacks working there won't stand for that.

    In view of that, I am somewhat surprised that Daley would propose McCormick Place going to barebones leasing. Maybe he realizes that it could still make money,while the CTA can't.

    Of course, Quinn's appointees seem to be fighting any change tooth and nail, if we believe Tribune reports.

  • In reply to waterbill:

    For once, I can totally support what the mayor says. You think he's sick or something?

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