The concession workers of Dodger Stadium, looking to make a massive statement in their attempt to secure a new union contract, have found a pretty effective way of making themselves known: threaten a walk out on the All-Star Game.
According to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times, Unite Here spokeswoman Maria Hernandez, speaking on behalf of the nearly 1,500 workers across all paths of food service and sanitation at Dodger Stadium, announced that 99% of the stadium’s concession employees voted to strike over the weekend.
That strike could begin at any time, with the official festivities starting in Hollywood on Saturday afternoon when minor-league baseball’s brightest stars take the stage for the Futures Game.
Clearly, Dodger Stadium’s staff have come together to take action against the disparities in the industry that were laid bare during the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic (which, while becoming more plainly accepted these days, is still prevalent).
At the heart of the early pandemic, stadium concession workers suddenly found themselves jobless for months on end with the same ends to meet as ever. Anyone who was able to continue working a food service job risked their health daily for that entire summer, even with limited crowds.
Now, the rubber has met the road in the fight for a fair new deal, which could leave the Dodgers short-staffed before their biggest home event since the 2018 World Series.
Dodger Stadium concession workers could strike during Dodgers’ All-Star Game
The Dodgers’ long road to get to the 2022 All-Star Game has officially hit a new speed bump, though certainly not its first.
Initially, the Dodgers were slated to host the 2020 All-Star Game, which obviously did not go on as scheduled (as the concession workers are well aware). The 2021 game, set for Atlanta, was moved to Colorado at the last minute due to restrictive voting rights laws floated in the state of Georgia. Instead of moving LA’s game back one year, the league held firm and gave the Dodgers an extra season to work on the infrastructure.
And now, the stadium’s workers have pressed “YES” on an effective power play ahead of the biggest event in years, one for which their participation is — dare we say — essential.
It’s a maneuver the MLBPA endorsed in a statement on Monday afternoon.
As stated by the group’s representative, the strike could begin at any moment, with the weekend’s activities looming (as well as home games against the Cardinals all week long).
If it weren’t already, the clock is officially ticking with no definitive start, but a clear endpoint.