Bay City News Service
SAN FRANCISCO – Concession workers at Oracle Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, said Thursday they approved a new employment contract, guaranteeing affordable health care and a $ 7-an-hour raise, among other benefits.
Earlier this month, workers nearly walked out of work when they asked food service contractor Bon Appetit Management to increase hazard pay by $ 3 per hour and lower the workers’ health care eligibility threshold. from 10 monthly events worked to nine.
According to Unite Here Local 2, which represents the workers, Bon Appetit assured the workers that Oracle Park would be a safe environment when it reopened at full capacity in June. However, workers alleged that the inner mask mandates and social distancing protocols were not being enforced in the park.
Since the park reopened, more than 20 workers have tested positive for COVID-19, union officials said.
After negotiations, almost all union members voted on Thursday to ratify the new contract, avoiding a strike.
Under the new contract, which runs through March 2024, workers will get immediate wage increases of $ 3 per hour, increasing to $ 7 per hour by 2024. In addition, workers will receive hazardous pay bonuses of $ 1.50 per hour for workers. games worked in the 2020 and 2021 baseball seasons.
In addition, the contract guarantees higher pension benefits for both full-time and seasonal workers.
While the health care eligibility threshold has been lowered, it now also includes an affordable family plan that includes dental and vision insurance at no cost to workers, and with low monthly costs for an unlimited number of dependents.
Additionally, the new contract commits to enforcing mask requirements and other COVID-19 safety rules.
“The pandemic changed everything, but because we were ready to strike, we reached an agreement that will keep us safer, help us support our families and provide us with the medical care we need,” said Billie Feliciano, manager of a concessions position. who has worked in the park for 45 years.
“This agreement will help us to be safer at work. It means that stadium workers will be able to support our families in the Bay Area, receive medical care without worrying about the bill, and retire with dignity. We were ready to strike and now our lives will change, ”said Deborah Torrano, union member and suite attendant.
Bon Appetit had said during the negotiations that he supported the right of workers to organize and hoped to reach an agreement soon.
Bon Appetit CEO Fedele Bauccio said Thursday he was satisfied with the deal.
“As a company, we have always strived to provide the best possible work environment and benefits for our employees and to work in collaboration with union representatives. I am pleased that Oracle Park continues to be a desirable workplace for our employees, ”he said.