The union representing concession workers at the ballpark UNITE HERE Local 11 has authorized a strike.
For decades, 24 billionaires, the owners of 30 Major League Baseball teams, have complained about labor costs — particularly the players’ salaries and pensions, but also the stadium workers who park cars, sell hot dogs, beer, peanuts and T-shirts; clean the stadiums, show fans to their seats and provide security.
Mark Walter, the founder and CEO of Guggenheim Partners, an investment company valued at $310 billion in assets, has a personal net worth of $3.7 billion. In 2012, Walter and his partners purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers for $2.15 billion in cash — a record cash amount for any sports franchise. The team is now valued at $4.1 billion, according to Forbes magazine.
Meanwhile, Sabrina Macias, a concession worker at Dodger Stadium for 18 years who earns $23 an hour, is wondering if she can work enough hours to keep the health insurance that covers her daughter’s dialysis treatments.
“Right now,” Macias said, “I don’t know how I’m going to put together enough hours from working at various venues to make sure I qualify for health insurance.”
Macias and 1,500 of her fellow Dodger Stadium employees — including food servers, bartenders, suite attendants, cooks and dishwashers — have voted to strike on the eve of the Major League Baseball All-Star game at the stadium on July 19. While the labor battle is focused on Los Angeles, the outcome of the negotiations will ripple throughout the country.
Like their counterparts at the other 29 Major League ballparks, most of the concession workers at Dodger Stadium are not employed directly by the team but instead by a subcontractor.