For immediate release
April 21, 2020
BALTIMORE – In a letter released today, a majority of the Baltimore City Council are calling on the Orioles to support the 700 Delaware North concessions workers at Camden Yards who have been laid off without pay while the MLB season is delayed due to COVID-19.
“These are hard times for all of us. The COVID-19 pandemic poses a threat not only to our health, but also to our economic well-being,” said Councilwoman Shannon Sneed. “We all have to be in this together and this means checking on Baltimore City residents and even providing extended pay and other resources to the workers of many of our great businesses in Baltimore City. Once this is over, Baltimore will be stronger and better than we have ever predicted.”
“When times are tough like right now with the coronavirus pandemic, we see who the real leaders are – the ones who are not afraid to stand up for what is right,” said Jermaine Jones, President of the Metropolitan Baltimore AFL-CIO.” “I commend Councilwoman Sneed for taking the lead in speaking up for low wage workers who really need our support to get through this Pandemic. I hope that the Orioles and Delaware North will do the right thing.”
Council members John Bullock, Kristerfer Burnett, Mary Pat Clarke, Zeke Cohen, Ryan Dorsey, Bill Henry, Danielle McCray, Sharon Green Middleton, and Leon Pinkett III joined Sneed in writing to Peter Angelos, owner and chairman of the Orioles. The letter reads:
“We write as City Council members because our city and our country are in a moment of crisis. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has not only put the health and safety of our entire city at risk, but also put thousands of Baltimore residents out of work. This includes the 700 concessions workers at Camden Yards.
Mr. Angelos, you have always been a friend to working people and organized labor. Through your law firm you represented working people to ensure that their medical issues were paid for. During the 1994–95 Major League Baseball strike you refused to blame players and refused to field replacement players.
In 2015, when our city was in another moment of crisis, the Orioles did the right thing and paid these workers for games missed as a result of the widespread protests following the funeral for Freddie Gray. We call on the Orioles to once again be a leader in our city today and again pay workers while the MLB season is delayed.
We applaud the Orioles and the MLB for making the difficult decision to delay the start of the season. We also applaud the Orioles for publicly committing to make $1 million available for Camden Yards workers. We would like to make sure, however, that food and beverage concessions workers employed by Delaware North are included in this and paid for missed games.
We are all die-hard Orioles fans and love the team in good times and in bad. Now, we need the Orioles to support concessions workers at Camden Yards who are incredibly vulnerable to sudden loss of income. If Delaware North will not step up for their employees, Baltimore residents, than we hope that you will. We hope the Orioles will support these workers by continuing to pay Delaware North so that it can pay employees and provide continued health insurance benefits for missed games to help these workers survive in this difficult time.”