How To Work With Unions…Without Yanking Your Hair Out (Pt. 2)

Unions Still Giving You Nightmares? Six More Tips To Make Unions Work For You!


Last week we discussed a few tips for working with unions and making your union work for you. Much of the success of working with a Union falls on the Meeting Professional’s knowledge of unions. When selecting your AV Company, make sure your vendor is also knowledgeable about unions.

There is no national standard when it comes to Unions; each city has the authority to make their own rules and regulations, and some cities do not have union labor established at all. Some cities have minimal requirements and will only require you to use union labor for the installation and dismantling of equipment.

Conversely, other cities have intense and overwhelming union involvement or even require you to work with multiple Unions for different stages of your event. In addition, some cities may also require you to hire a broker to work with and pay your union workers.

To ensure the smoothness of your event, it is crucial you check with your venue and city to understand what their specific requirements are; or have your AV provider do this for you.   While working with a union can be daunting and overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be.


Here is what you need to know: 


    • A two worker minimum is required for unloading, rigging and loading at many Union facilities
    • You have the right to establish rules and regulations you deem necessary including conduct, dress, job performance, expectations. Review these expectations with your AV Company and Steward.
    • A lower “grade” of Union worker might be able to perform the same tasks as more expensive grade for a much lower rate.
    • Track all Union labor worked every day and for every shift. Minimum hours can vary, and can be anywhere from a 4 to 8 hour minimum of consecutive hours. Meal periods and breaks not included.
    • Prepare General Liability paperwork far in advance of your event and ensure you have a copy with you at all times.
    • Last but not least, Keep calm! Problems are just opportunities for new solutions, the event will go on, and it will be wonderful.




    Like most things, with a little patience and a lot of knowledge, working with Unions can go from a nightmare to a dream. I hope that these tips, along with those in last week's post will save you time, money, and stress the next time you are planning an event in a city with Union requirements.


    Need an AV vendor experienced in working with unions? CCR has been working with unions for over 25 years, we would be glad to help you with your next union event!