Ahead of MLB All-Star Game, Dodger Stadium concession workers threaten strike

A week ahead of Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium, the union representing concessions workers at the ballpark announced today its members have authorized a strike that “could be called at any moment.”

Maria Hernandez, a spokeswoman for the Unite Here Local 11 union, said in a statement that stadium food and beverage workers voted by a 99% margin Sunday to authorize a walkout.

The union represents some 1,500 servers, bartenders, suite attendants, cooks and dishwashers at Dodger Stadium, “an overwhelming majority of whom are workers of color,” according to the union.

“These workers are seeking to negotiate a fair new union contract,” according to the union’s statement, which did not provide specific demands.

The workers are employed by Chicago-based Levy Restaurants, which runs the concessions at Dodger Stadium. Kevin Memolo, director of communications for Levy, did not immediately reply to an email seeking the company’s response.

Susan Minato, co-president of United Here Local 11, added in a statement, “Stadium workers are proud of the role they play to bring fans the best game experience possible. They are the backbone of our tourism and sports industry, yet many struggle to stay housed and to make ends meet.

“They often live with economic uncertainty because the quality of jobs vary stadium to stadium. No worker should have to continue living like this.”

With the Dodgers off Monday and playing on the road through Saturday, there would be no immediate impact of any walkout—but All-Star festivities at Dodger Stadium begin Saturday with MLB’s Futures Game, a celebrity softball game and a concert by Becky G.

Next Monday, the All-Star Home Run Derby is scheduled, followed by the All-Star Game itself next Tuesday.

The Major League Baseball Players Association, meanwhile, issued a statement of support Monday for the concessions workers.

“The MLBPA stands in solidarity with Dodger Stadium concessions workers represented by Unite Here Local 11,” according to the players union.

“Like thousands of ballpark workers across the country, Local 11’s members are a vital yet under appreciated part of what makes our game great. They deserve to be treated fairly and will continue to have the 1,200 members of the MLBPA  behind them.”

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