By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The head of the Pennsylvania Convention Center says he would have preferred that all six unions who do work at the Center signed on to new work rule changes, but two didn’t do it in time, and they’re now excluded from the employee’s entrance.

Convention Center president and CEO John McNichol says the new work rules make it easier for exhibitors to set up their booths.

“We have to show by example, and that means every customer, one at a time, that the changes are meaningful.”

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Neither Carpenters nor Teamsters met management’s deadline to sign on to the new work rules for the center, so McNichol says they had no choice but to seal deals with the other four unions that accepted the rules.

McNichol acknowledges that the Center has been losing repeat business for conventions, conferences and trade shows.

“Past customers were complaining more about the hassle factor,” McNichol says.

The new work rules allow exhibitors more freedom to set up their booths – about double the present limit – without the union workers. They can also use small hand-held power tools and step ladders to adjust items for the first time.

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