Buoyed by an outpouring of support from labor and community allies, food concession workers got a winning contract from their employer, Levy Restaurants at Nationals Ballpark. Darryl Proctor, a grill cook and worker leader who had shared his story with students, community advocates and others, said that the folks who came out in support, "were like a backbone behind us…from the rallies, to the fan days, to the labor night when y’all came out on 19th July, I just want to say thank you so much."
On Tuesday July 23, workers voted overwhelmingly to ratify the new contract, which addresses one of the most important issues at the park: workers had seen union jobs disappear through Levy’s subcontracting of concession stands to non-union employers. Some of the highlights:
- $1.80 in raises over the lifetime of the 4 year contract
- Subcontracting by Levy to non-union companies phased out, so that all food stands will eventually be staffed by Levy union employees
- An agreement that allows Levy workers at the ballpark to work for Levy at Verizon Center when work is available
Pearl Bailey, another cook and leader at the ballpark who spent much of her time organizing co-workers and speaking with allies, said, "It meant a lot to me that we had a lot of people supporting us, and that everybody thought that we deserved better as well. At first I thought we were alone… I’d like to tell everybody thank you for coming out and supporting us. You had a very big impact. It was huge victory for us."