SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — With baseball season is in full swing, 800 concession workers could go on strike at AT&T Park sometime in the next few weeks.
Negotiations fell apart last Thursday, just days after members of UNITE HERE Local 2 voted to authorize a walkout. A union representative said fans can expect to see concession workers who sell beer, popcorn and other food at the ballpark to be walking picket lines instead of the bleachers within a few weeks. The workers have not had a contract in three years.
Members of Local 2 authorized a strike on May 13th. Centerplate, which has the food vending contract with the San Francisco Giants, said the union walked out of negotiations.
Local 2 officials said ballpark concession workers left the talks after being kept waiting for two hours. The union said they were also told their job security demands were “obnoxious.”
“One of these home stands, if not this one, then some future one; people are going to come to the park someday and people are going to realize that the food and beverage operations in chaos,” said Mike Casey of the Local 2 union.
Sam Singer, spokesman for Centerplate, hopes it doesn’t come to that.
“There’s no need for any labor action at AT&T Park. The employees are beloved by Centerplate. They’re the highest paid in the industry. It’s time for the union to return and negotiate rather than stomp its feet and walk away,” Singer said.
While Giants fans won’t be asked to boycott games, the union is discouraging patrons at AT&T Park to buy food and other concessions in the event of a walkout, according to Casey.
Casey said the union is ready to talk as soon as Centerplate agrees to meaningful, face-to-face negotiations.
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