Cobo Center Reaches New Labor Agreement


DETROIT — The Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority and unions providing services at Cobo Center have entered into a new agreement that will lower costs and increase flexibility for Cobo’s customers.

The new Efficiency Memorandum provides more flexible work rules and better defined policies for workdays and overtime. The agreement covers all shows, meetings, conventions, and exhibitions at Cobo Center.

“It is particularly gratifying that this agreement was reached through constructive engagement and serious negotiation rather than a legislative imperative,” said Patrick Bero, CEO/CFO of the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority. “Everyone is on board that these changes will be critical to Cobo Center reaching its full potential as an economic engine for the region and the state.”

Bero said the agreement will lower the cost of doing business with Cobo Center, move Cobo toward competitive balance within the convention and meeting industry, and help attract new business that will increase work and add jobs.

New customers also bring visitors who use hotels, restaurants, shops, and services in Southeast Michigan, Bero said.

“This agreement makes Cobo’s costs more competitive with standards for the exposition and meeting industry,” said Thom Connors, general manager of Cobo Center for Spectator Management Group. “This is a significant step forward to clarify and maintain exhibitor rights and make our operations more efficient and competitive.”

Events will be significantly more cost-effective and costs will be more predictable for customers because of the agreement, Connors said. He said the value cannot be quantified because each event has unique characteristics and requirements.

Negotiations were initiated by the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority soon after it assumed control of Cobo Center in late 2009 and joined by Spectator Management Group in 2011.