Current Arena Workers Worried about What New Arena May Take Away

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As the Kings starting line-up gets closer to echoing throughout a brand-new facility, Sacramento City Council members are learning more about where the city’s team could play in 2016.

“Critical access that is not there today is at 6th and J,” Assistant City Manager John Dangberg said from the podium at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

City staff detailed all that Sacramento could get in this now $477 million deal, while dozens of current arena workers came to the meeting worried about what they might lose.

“It’s not about getting paid more.  It’s about being treated right and when you’re with the union, you’re treated right,” Francisco Garcia said.

For the last 10 years Garcia has supported his two sons with union pay from his premiere catering job at Sleep Train arena.

There’s been a lot of controversy about the Kings’ Project Labor agreement for union work to put the arena together.

The mayor and the Kings have said union work will continue inside of the building as the Kings sit on their next throne.

But those promises have been in words and the hospitality workers in Local 49 and janitors in the SEIU want it in writing.

Concern extends to a hotel that would be in an adjacent arena development.

“If you have several union hotels surrounding a non-union hotel, it really gives a competitive advantage to the non- union hotel that we don’t think is fair,” Local 49 President Chris Rak said. “We gave them a document in early March and we’re awaiting a response.”

And other concerns about the remain project… even though all legal challenges have failed.

“This environmental impact report is a joke. I don’t think you take it seriously because you’ve already made up your minds,” J. Bolton Phillips said during the public comment period on the arena.

Final council approval of a new Kings arena is expected on May 13.

Councilman Steve Cohn said that he hopes to see something in writing for the union workers sooner rather than later.

The Kings organization has not yet clarified its position on future jobs for the hospitality and janitorial workers.

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