750 Centerplate workers stop work at home of San Francisco Giants after three years of wage freezes
[San Francisco, CA] 750 workers began a one-day strike May 25th against Centerplate, the San Francisco Giants’ food and beverage subcontractor. The strike is a significant escalation in the workers’ campaign to achieve a new contract with wage increases, decent benefits, and job security. Centerplate workers have not had a wage increase since the last contract expired in March 2010. The workers will return to work on Sunday.
“This strike should be a wake-up call to Centerplate and the Giants.” says Patricia Ramirez a cook for 13 years. “We want a new contract with wage increases, health care, and job security, and we’re willing to fight for it.”
Negotiations have been at a standstill between Centerplate and the concession workers’ union. Centerplate’s proposal would severely limit workers’ access to healthcare and keep in place the three year wage freeze from 2010-1012, despite the incredible financial success of the baseball team and its concessionaire over those years. Concession workers voted by 97% to authorize the union to call up to 5 days of strike and a boycott of concessions.
“Groceries, gas, public transportation – everything has gone up in price over the last three years, including the prices at the ballpark. But we haven’t had a wage increase since April 2009,” says Julie Nordman, a concession worker for 20 years. “My stand alone brings in over $20,000 a game. Why can’t we share in the success?”
The concession workers’ primary dispute is with their direct employer, Centerplate, and not the Giants. Picket lines will encourage fans to enjoy the game, but to refrain from purchasing food from Centerplate. The Giants play the Rockies today at 1pm.
“Hopefully Centerplate and the Giants will realize how important we are to the fan experience at AT&T Park,” says Patricia. “I’m on strike because I want to see Centerplate come back to the negotiating table with a proposal that shows respect for the work we do.”
UNITE HERE Local 2 represents 12,000 hospitality workers in San Francisco and San Mateo Counties.
For more information, go to www.thegiantzero.org