Dodger Stadium

Talks Resume in Dodger Stadium Concessions Dispute

Dodger stadium concession worker talks resume to avoid a strike ahead of the All-Star Game.

Three days before Major League Baseball's All-Star Game festivities at Dodger Stadium get underway, talks have resumed between the union representing concessions workers who are threatening to strike and the company that runs concessions at the ballpark, both sides said Wednesday.

"Unite Here Local 11 and Compass/Levy at Dodger Stadium have resumed contract discussions in an effort to avert a strike during the All-Star Game,'' the union and the company said in separate but identical statements Wednesday.

No other details were released.

Unite Here represents some 1,500 servers, bartenders, suite attendants, cooks and dishwashers at Dodger Stadium. The workers are employed by Chicago-based Levy Restaurants.

The statements came two days after the union announced its members had authorized a strike that "could be called at any moment.''

A walkout could potentially affect Major League Baseball's Mid-Summer Classic, which will be played Tuesday, with pre-game festivities taking place at Dodger Stadium on Saturday and Monday.

Maria Hernandez, a union spokeswoman, said Monday that stadium food and beverage workers -- "an overwhelming majority of whom are workers of color'' -- had voted by a 99% margin Sunday to authorize a walkout.

"These workers are seeking to negotiate a fair new union contract,'' according to the union's Monday statement, which did not provide specific demands.

Susan Minato, co-president of United Here Local 11, added in a statement, "Stadium workers are proud of the role they play to bring fans the best game experience possible. They are the backbone of our tourism and sports industry, yet many struggle to stay housed and to make ends meet."

"They often live with economic uncertainty because the quality of jobs vary stadium to stadium. No worker should have to continue living like this.''

With the Dodgers playing on the road through Saturday, there would be no immediate impact of any walkout -- but All-Star festivities at Dodger Stadium begin Saturday with MLB's Futures Game, a celebrity softball game and a concert by Becky G.

Monday, the All-Star Home Run Derby is scheduled, followed by the All-Star Game itself on Tuesday.

The Major League Baseball Players Association issued a statement of support Monday for the concessions workers.

"The MLBPA stands in solidarity with Dodger Stadium concessions workers represented by Unite Here Local 11,'' according to the players union.

"Like thousands of ballpark workers across the country, Local 11's members are a vital yet underappreciated part of what makes our game great. They deserve to be treated fairly and will continue to have the 1,200 members of the MLBPA behind them.''

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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