Dodger Stadium Workers Planning Strike If Contract Not Reached Before July

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Many Dodger Stadium workers may soon go on strike for better pay and working conditions amid contract negotiations with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The group of employees includes approximately 500 ushers, security, groundskeepers and janitorial workers, who have been working without a contract that expired earlier this year.

The employees are represented by the Service Employees International Union-United Service Workers West (SEIU USWW), which protects roughly 40,000 service workers across California, including employees at Disneyland, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, SoFi Stadium and Arena.

The workers are primarily seeking a raise as their wages have remained mostly stagnant while stadium profits continue to increase, via Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times:

The workers, according to SEIU USWW officials, are asking for a wage raise of 43% to 45% over five years and an increase in the employer’s healthcare contribution from the Dodgers. The union said it is representing approximately 500 ushers, groundskeepers, security officers, and other stadium workers in the negotiations. The two sides are scheduled to return to the bargaining table Friday.

“In my 27 years working with the SEIU, representing these workers, we have never had to go on strike,” SEIU USWW President David Huerta said. “But the circumstances we’re looking at — when you look at inflation, you look at the profitability of this organization, the cost of living — the wages that are being negotiated now, these workers understand that this is a moment for them, to be able to negotiate what they consider what they need to be able to survive in this city.

“And I think this organization that represents the Dodgers, that represents the city of Los Angeles needs to be cognizant of the fact that they’re just not a ballclub. They’re an employer that employs a lot of people and those folks have to be able to have livable wages.”

A group of employees protested outside of Dodger Stadium ahead of a game against the New York Yankees on Saturday, but they plan to increase their efforts with a strike if no contract is agreed to by the end of June.

Many of Dodger Stadium workers make less than $20 per hour but provide essential tasks for games as revenue across the league continues to increase. In 2022, MLB set a record revenue of nearly $11 billion during the year with roughly 65 million fans attending games throughout the season.

For the Dodgers, they once again surpassed the 3 million in attendance, which led MLB, and they nearly reached 4 million fans during the 2022 season.

Both the Dodgers and MLB have recently negotiated new contracts with their employees. The 2022 season was delayed by the lockout, which ultimately resulted in a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the league and the Players Association (MLBPA) that included increased salaries for players.

In addition, MLB and the MLBPA agreed to a historic MiLB CBA, which protected Minor League players for the first time ever and included significant raises and living improvements for players.

Dodger Stadium concession workers received new contract

Last July, 99% of Unite Here Local 11 union employees, which represent Dodger Stadium concession workers who are part of Levy Restaurants, voted to go on strike, which would have been imposed at any point leading up to 2022 All-Star Game events or during them.

However, contract negotiations with Levy resumed, and Dodger Stadium concession workers agreed not to strike.

The two sides ended up reaching an agreement and the workers voted 98% to ratify a new contract with Compass Group and Levy Restaurants to bring raises to food servers, bartenders, suite attendants, cooks and dish washers.

The new deal amounts to 75% of Compass/Levy workers at Dodger Stadium being in position to earn more than $30 per hour by the end of the contract in January 2025. Some employees will see increases of more than $13 an hour. Workers also won additional pay in recognition of service during COVID-19 and increased funding for pensions and healthcare.

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