Sponsored link
Saturday, September 25, 2021

Sponsored link

News + PoliticsLaborGiants ballpark workers set strike vote

Giants ballpark workers set strike vote

Low wages, poor COVID safety, and a dismissive attitude by team management could lead to picket lines during the pennant race.

-

Just as the San Francisco Giants enter what looks to be a heated pennant race, with potentially huge crowds, members of the union that represents workers at Oracle Park are taking a vote that could authorize a strike.

“People are pretty pissed,” Anand Singh, president of UNITED HERE Local 2, told me.

Scenes from a hotel workers strike could be repeated at the Giants ballpark. Ebbe Roe Yovino-Smith photo

A strike would make it almost impossible for the team and its contractor, Bon Appetite, to provide food and beverage service to the tens of thousands of people who could fill the ballpark.

That might actually put pressure on the Giants to demand that Bon Appetit do something about workplace safety—and discuss a raise for workers who are risking their lives and still making 2018 pay.

As we reported Monday:

The last wage increase food service workers got was in “April… of 2018.” The Giants never lifted a finger to help provide health care to laid-off ballpark food service workers during 2020, although the pandemic was raging. The Union has demanded a $3 per hour retroactive hazard-type pay increase, and even that demand is incredibly modest compared to what we have suffered. Especially considering that the fortune of Charles Johnson, the controversial chief owner of theGiants, increased by $815 million from March 2020 to January 2021, commanding a fortune of something north of $5 billion.

The Giants continue to duck the issue, saying that they aren’t responsible for the actions—or labor practices—of their outside food contractor.

But the fans don’t know the difference—they go to the stadium and drink beer and eat food prepared and served by people who are, for all intents and purposes, part of the Giants operation.

This is also a big labor town—and a picket line in front of the ballpark would be honored by many fans.

“The Giants have just been sitting on their hands,” Singh told me.

A strike vote scheduled for Saturday won’t mean an immediate work stoppage—but it would authorize the union to move at any time to shut down the worksite.

Which means that the team is going to have to start paying attention to the pay and working conditions of the people who are a central part of  the live game-day experience.

Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond has been a political and investigative reporter in San Francisco for more than 30 years. He spent much of that time as executive editor of the Bay Guardian. He is the founder of 48hills.
Sponsored link
Sponsored link

Top reads

A car-free JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park is finally close to reality

But there are some complicated equity issues that will require a lot more discussion.

A new dark-money group with GOP support seeks to raise crime fears

A misleading mailer attacking the record of DA Chesa Boudin hits the streets—but who paid for it?

Robots in the crash pad: The twisted takeover of the Red Victorian Hotel

How Haight Ashbury countercultural ideals were distorted by a tech "co-living" experiment, and a trans performance community was displaced.

More by this author

A new dark-money group with GOP support seeks to raise crime fears

A misleading mailer attacking the record of DA Chesa Boudin hits the streets—but who paid for it?

While people sit in jail cells, SF courts delay criminal trials

Judges hear civil cases while violating the law and delaying the right to a speedy trial for criminal defendants, public defender says.

A car-free JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park is finally close to reality

But there are some complicated equity issues that will require a lot more discussion.
Sponsored link
Sponsored link

You might also likeRELATED