Giants’ Concession Workers Win $7/Hour Pay Raise After Strike Threat
It would have been awfully damned awkward rooting for the San Francisco Giants in the upcoming playoffs knowing that their concession workers were on strike. Like, is watching the game on TV technically crossing the picket line? How ashamed would we be if images of picketing workers were also broadcast nationwide as part of Giants coverage? That was at serious risk of happening, as 97% of the Giants ballpark concession stand employees voted to strike in early September, and 200 of them walked off the job for one day in mid-September, as extremely lax safety protocols caused numerous COVID outbreaks among staff, and the workers were getting jobbed with no hazard pay and extremely skimpy healthcare.
⚡️⚾️ BREAKING ⚾️⚡️
96.7% of concessions workers at the @SFGiants Oracle Park have voted to STRIKE for safety, health care & hazard pay.
At least 20 concessions workers have been infected with COVID-19 since the stadium reopened. pic.twitter.com/UcNrn9Pwm4
— UNITE HERE Local 2 (@UniteHereLocal2) September 5, 2021
But at about 5 a.m. Wednesday morning, the concession workers union Unite Here Local 2 announced that they had struck a deal at the bargaining table, and the strike was called off at the last minute. As SFGate explains, the workers will receive “a retroactive $3 an hour raise, a separate, retroactive $1.50 an hour hazard pay bonus for 2020 and 2021, additional yearly raises that will ultimately total a $7 an hour increase by 2024, as well as significant improvements to health care and pension plans.”
The deal includes:
😷 Better enforcement of masking and other COVID safety rules.
🏥 Affordable health care for the whole family, including platinum medical, dental, and vision.
💸 $7/hour raises
🚑 $1.50/hour hazard pay
🧓🏽 Bigger pensions
— UNITE HERE Local 2 (@UniteHereLocal2) September 29, 2021
“Ballpark workers’ fierce, determined leadership has paid off,” Unite Here Local 2 president Anand Singh said in a statement. “Workers got organized and were ready to strike, and they won a life changing deal. Bon Appetit stepped up and set an industry standard for safe, family-sustaining jobs.”
(Bon Appetit is the concessions management company that employs food service workers at the Giants ballpark. The concession workers do not actually work for the San Francisco Giants organization.)
As San Francisco Giants prepare to head into the playoffs for the first time since 2016, the team no longer has to worry about a strike by Oracle Park concession workers during the post-season. https://t.co/JUewTr2HXg
— KPIX 5 (@KPIXtv) September 29, 2021
In addition to the pay raises, the union won a commitment to stricter mask requirements for fans at the ballpark (oddly, there is currently no vaccination requirement to enter the Giants ballpark). They also won dental and vision healthcare insurance that they didn’t have before, and won the elimination of a completely exploitive bullshit rule where employees’ healthcare was dependent on how many home games the Giants played that particular month.
“This isn’t unique to the Giants,” Singh told SFGate. “This really should put a spotlight on the fact that MLB teams should not be able to absolve themselves of the plight of working people in their stadiums. These are vastly profitable enterprises, and there’s no reason to create the kind of turmoil and havoc over a few dollars an hour wage increase that workers are deserving of in a moment like this.”