September 24 2021 03:30 pm

97% Oracle Park workers vote to strike over COVID-19 safety

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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — Concession workers at Oracle park could soon go on strike.

Hundreds of Union workers – represented by “UNITE HERE Local 2” voted to authorize the Union to strike at any time.

Ninety-seven percent of the workers voted to strike as negotiations over COVID-19 safety and hazard pay between the Union and food service contractor have stalled.

The Union president says many of the workers have served the team for decades.

They take pride in their work, but they feel like they’ve been taken for granted and they’re fed up.

“We’re going back to the negotiating table on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of next week, and workers will report to work for today’s game. It’s outrageous that COVID infections weren’t enough for Bon Appetit and the Giants to start taking more effective safety measures, but we hope our strike vote will be the jolt they need,” Anand Singh, President of UNITE HERE Local 2, said in a statement.

Workers are upset about a number of issues.

“Last season was a lost season. There were no fans in the stands. Our members were laid off all season, so they need real wage increases.”

Anand says concession workers haven’t received a wage increase in 3 years. And no hazard pay during the pandemic.

They also are having trouble qualifying for healthcare because they aren’t working many events. Some have been canceled due to COVID-19.

Lastly, they’re worried they’re not being protected from the virus.

“There’s signs up about masking, about social distancing that goes unenforced. We’ve had 20 occurrences of COVID-19 among these workers this season alone.”

Anand says they have negotiations coming up with the Giants’ food service contractor Bon Appetite.

“We’re hopeful that Bon Appetite, who is the direct employer of these workers, and the Giants come to their senses and step up and meet us on these modest demands.”

He says if the negotiations don’t go well – workers could still strike this season or into the post-season.

“Everybody has a responsibility here. They’ve got to step up and make this right and these workers deserve no less.”

Eighty-five percent of active workers turned out to vote. About 96% of the votes were yes to authorize the strike.

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