Global Experience Specialists (GES) has been in negotiations with the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters Local 1027, which represents GES’ warehouse carpenters. On Friday, May 31, at midnight the current agreement expired without GES and the union reaching a new contract. Although both parties negotiated in good faith over the previous month, they could not reach a fair and equitable resolution.
“We are standing our ground for our clients, for the industry and for the health of our business,” said GES President Steve Moster. “The No. 1 concern that organizers and exhibitors share with me is the rising costs of trade shows and conventions. Although a labor action is something we work hard to avoid, we should not give in to outrageous wage demands.”
The union is demanding a wage increase of 17% over four years. This is in addition to the gains they received from a very healthy wage and benefit package increase of 14% over the past three years.
*********************Chicago Warehouse Carpenters Cite Wage Gap with GES’ Competitors for Contract Strife.
Several days after contract renewal talks broke down between Global Experience Specialists and the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters Local 1027, the two entities have not come to a resolution over wage increase expectations.
Talks broke off because of the union’s request for a 17-percent wage increase during a 4-year period and GES’ offer of a 15-percent increase during the same 4-year time period.
“While achieving solid agreements with GES’s competitors, talks with GES, a division of the corporate conglomerate Viad Corp., have stalled,” said Frank T. Libby, president/executive secretary-treasurer, Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters. “The union is negotiating for parity with other companies, securing fairness for its members, and the ability to continue to promote Chicago as a trade show leader.”
According to Libby, the crux of the issue for the union is $5.11 hourly rate savings that GES received, compared with its competition, during the last contract negotiations. Another issue at hand that led the union to ask for wage increases is the rising cost of health insurance.
What do you think? Is the carpenters union asking for too much of a pay increase? Is GES being unfair compared to contracts with other union groups? What sorts of pay increases are common in other industries these days?
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