Just before the San Francisco Giants enter another postseason, workers at Oracle Park have reached a deal with their employer, concessionaire Bon Appetit Management, after weeks of threatening to strike over COVID hazard pay and other issues.
A threat to go on strike was issued by the workers' labor union earlier this month, after months in which they said COVID safety protocols like the city's mask mandate had not been properly enforced — and dozens of concession workers had tested positive for COVID-19. The union said that workers deserved both a raise in their hourly wage and hazard pay for games they've already worked in the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
The last time workers at the ballpark received a raise was in 2018.
Two weeks ago, around 200 workers briefly walked off the job, but a full day's strike — like one that happened at the ballpark in 2013 — did not take place.
On Wednesday morning, the union, UNITE HERE Local 2, reported that a tentative deal had been struck with Bon Appetit which gives the workers some of the back hazard pay they were demanding, as well as better benefits, pension contributions, and a pledge to better enforce masking rules. The deal would run through March 24, and union members will vote to ratify it on Thursday.
"This deal will help us be safer on the job, support our families in the Bay Area, get medical care without worrying about the bill, and retire with dignity," said Deborah Torrano, a suite attendant at Oracle Park and union negotiating committee member, in a statement. "We were ready to strike, and now our lives will change."
As KPIX reports, the terms of the deal according to a news release are as follows:
- A commitment to enforce mask requirements and other COVID safety rules
- Hazard pay bonus of $1.50/hour for games worked in 2020 and 2021 seasons.
- Affordable family health care, including platinum medical, dental, and vision insurance. No cost for individuals. Low cost per month to cover an unlimited number of dependents. Eligibility threshold lowered.
- Immediate wage increases of $3/hour. Total wage increases of $7/hour by 2024.
- Increased pension benefits for both full-time and seasonal workers.
It sounds as though the workers got almost everything they asked for, save for the $3/hour bonus back pay they were demanding — instead they'll get half that.
"My team and I are pleased that contract negotiations proceeded to a successful conclusion,"said Fedele Bauccio, CEO of Bon Appetit, in the release. "As a company, we have always strived to offer the best possible work environment and benefits for our employees and to work collaboratively with union representatives. I am glad that Oracle Park will continue to be a desirable workplace for our employees."
Photo: Corleone Brown