Union Lockout at America’s Center Escalates



The Greater St. Louis Labor Council issued a formal response today to Monday’s lockout of three audiovisual labor unions at the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission/America’s Center.

Bob Soutier, president of the Labor Council, called the lockout of about 150 members of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local One, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 6, (Stagehands), and IATSE Local 143 (Projectionists) illegal.

Soutier also called the CVC’s proposed Memorandum of Understanding unlawful.

The MOU, which you can read in full here, states that audiovisual union members will only be allowed to work as employees of the CVC, on its terms, from here on out.

The Labor Council issued its own fact sheet in response, primarily declaring that it’s the convention contractors, not the CVC, who hire union labor, and therefore that the CVC lacks the authority to lock out the unions.

Soutier said there are no immediate plans to picket. So it’s not clear what’ll happen next.

As regular readers of RFT know, these three unions and the CVC have been at the bargaining table since early last year, when the CVC first approached labor about problems with convention customers. We broke that news in our May 2007 cover story, “Bad Blood.”

Later today we’ll post a bunch of primary documents, including exit surveys of convention planners.

-Kristen Hinman

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