Byline: Rich Wilner

NEW YORK — New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani called Thursday for the formation of a labor committee to help bring down the astronomically high labor costs charged to exhibitors at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.
Giuliani addressed a New York State Senate committee hearing on the Javits Center and how to deal with corruption within the unions that work at the one-million-square-foot exhibition hall. The only exhibitor spokesman on the witness list was Mark Scheinberg, executive vice president of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association.
The mayor said the labor committee, as a unit of the new board of directors of the Center, would “negotiate with the unions to change substantially the work rules and the collective bargaining agreements.”
New York Governor George E. Pataki told the Senate panel that some of the current labor contracts, even those signed in the waning days of the Mario Cuomo administration, could be scrapped for less onerous pacts.
Industry estimates say those labor pacts, drawn up between allegedly mob-controlled unions and exhibitions companies, cost companies exhibiting at Javits Center shows four to 50 times more than in other cities, Giuliani said.
For example, he said that “a general laborer or carpenter at the Javits Center earns $70.50 an hour and $127.50 per hour on Sundays and overtime, compared to $48 per hour in Chicago, $45 in Atlantic City, $40 in Miami and $30-$33 in Atlanta.”
Giuliani said he favored private Center management over a city- or state-run hall but said some sort of federal or state trusteeship might be necessary to clean up the corruption.
— Fairchild News Service