Major showroom owner outsources jobs

Feb. 15, 2013 @ 08:25 AM

The owner and operator of the major showrooms at the High Point Market has outsourced its housekeeping and security work, though it’s not clear how many people might lose jobs because of the restructuring.
International Market Centers, which assumed control of two-thirds of the showroom space at the furniture market in the spring of 2011, said the shift of housekeeping and security functions to an outside contractor is part of the ongoing reorganization of its holdings. In a mammoth and unprecedented deal, International Market Centers bought the International Home Furnishings Center, Showplace, the former holdings of Merchandise Mart Properties Inc., which includes Market Square, and the World Market Center in Las Vegas. The $1 billion deal gave International Market Centers a corner on the U.S. home furnishings trade show field.
An International Market Centers spokeswoman said housekeeping and security employees in High Point affected by the change were offered the opportunity to fill jobs with the outside contractor. The announcement to employees was made last week.
“... We do not know if all of the employees will accept the offers of employment,” said Dana Andrew, vice president of global marketing and communications.
International Market Centers isn’t elaborating on the number of positions affected by the outsourcing of housekeeping and security work, Andrew told The High Point Enterprise.
Two independent sources, who asked to remain anonymous but are familiar with the reorganization, told the Enterprise that between 20 and 25 positions were involved. One of the sources said that employees affected by the outsourcing were offered jobs with the contractor at noticeably lower pay levels.
Andrew said that International Market Centers wouldn’t address the possibility of a pay disparity between the old and new positions because “this is between the employer and employee.”
Since International Market Centers took over the High Point showroom properties, the company both has dismissed employees and hired new workers, though the housekeeping and security outsourcing appears to be the largest single shake-up of its work force since the takeover.

pjohnson@hpe.com | 888-3528