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Victory

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I know I am supposed to be all doom and gloom all the time. But that’s only true 99% of the time. Sometimes there are victories. Such as the concession workers for the San Francisco Giants who just ratified their first contract with 98% of the members voting yes.

Instead, it took place in the stands where 800 seasonal concession workers organized by UNITE HERE Local 2 just ratified by 98% a contract with Centerplate, the subcontracted concessionaire at Giants Park and one of the largest hospitality companies in North America.

The agreement provides the best wages and benefits in the country for their type of work.

The terms included an immediate raise of $1.40 an hour with some back pay, strong job security protections, dental insurance and fully paid family medical coverage without co-pays through the contract’s 2019 expiration date.

The agreement will also fund a big improvement in pension benefits and will tie future health care and wage increases to San Francisco’s big hotels – so when Local 2 hotel workers get wage and benefit increases, Centerplate will match them at Giants stadium.

This convergence of interests is not accidental.

Local 2 members regularly discuss the importance of solidarity. Membership unity across job classifications and work sites strengthens the union and, as results indicate, increases its bargaining leverage considerably.

Tying their salaries with those of the hotel workers in a strong local is a big deal.

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  • DrDick

    Most excellent news!

  • No copays? Damn. Tho I daresay I can afford them better.

  • OT
    I have been trying to teach the readers of National Review about Civil Rights history. It’s a thankless job but it does waste time. My effort can be found here:
    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/383357/setting-record-straight-jim-crow-john-fund#comment-1498936891

    • Jesus christ.

      • jim, some guy in iowa

        he went back up on the cross after reading a few of the comments at the corner

        • No way would Jesus want to return to this.

    • efgoldman

      How the *hell* do you even stand it?
      I mean, at least the people who shovel shit on the farm get paid to do it.

    • Sly

      Shorter Every Conservative on Racism: “Except for the few good ones, black people are too stupid to understand that liberals are the real racists.”

    • cpinva

      is “Martin Knight” john fund in disguise, because he sure comes across as idiotic as fund does?

  • efgoldman

    OK, now go across the bay and organize the Raiders’ cheerleaders.

  • BigDaddyJ

    I agree this is a victory, but as a consumer who enjoys going to Giants games, I assume the costs will be merely passed on to us fans, and the concessions at AT&T Park are already too expensive. I brought in food last time and will probably end up doing that more often. Admittedly, they’d be hiked up anyway, maybe they’ll just be hiked up a bit more; I wish there was some way to put a check on concession prices.

    As for hotels… hotel prices in San Francisco have mushroomed due to the tremendous demand and chronic SF undersupply; it’s good the unions have enabled its members to get a better share.

    I guess I can’t entirely complain, the beer selection at AT&T Park is very decent. Still haven’t made it to the Anchor kiosk out behind centerfield, but I will almost definitely go next time, assuming the lines aren’t ridiculous.

    p.s. Really happy to see the new login system! I don’t miss JenBobXyz at all. Haven’t figured out how to set my avatar yet, though.

    • Whatever you are paying at the concessions, it’s not because the workers are making a lot of money. With an hourly wage less than a dog and a beer, don’t blame them.

      • BigDaddyJ

        Yeah, not blaming them at all, it’s pretty nonstop work in a pretty mediocre environment. I’m just saying that management is not going to share their profits per se, they’re just going to hike prices even more. By comparison, hotel negotiations are at least within something resembling a competitive framework.

        Unfortunately, ballparks and pretty much any other sporting event have a captive audience and there’s no real competition thanks to a single company being selected to service the entire place. (Actually, when “local” restaurants are represented in a place like AT&T Park, is it just the branding? Or do they actually contribute ingredients/product to the service company?)

        • efgoldman

          Actually, when “local” restaurants are represented in a place like AT&T Park, is it just the branding? Or do they actually contribute ingredients/product to the service company?

          I believe (but don’t know for sure) that they act as sub-concessions, renting the space or some other arrangemet.
          I men, I can’t imagine Legal Seafoods or Regina Pizzeria trusting Aramark with protecting their brand and reputation inside the ballpark.

        • Vance Maverick

          I’m just saying that management is not going to share their profits per se, they’re just going to hike prices even more.

          Even granting this — and I do not underestimate management’s inclination to squeeze the fan — I’m a little uncertain of your purpose in saying it. Just venting? Or, as Erik suspected, is your aim to extend the penumbra of resentment over the workers as well?

          • BigDaddyJ

            Purely venting about the fact that management will, no matter what, succeed in ripping off everyone, including myself, and sadly I will give into it more than I should because I like going to MLB ballparks. At least they’re ripping off workers a tad less now.

            I don’t accomplish anything blaming the workers for this, that’s terribly unfair. I’ve watched them while in long lines, and it’s tough work. At least the weather in AT&T Park is okay for workers (if a bit chilly at times); in most other ballparks right now the conditions are absolutely atrocious.

            I distinctly remember going to Wrigley a few years ago on a 90-degree day in June. The ballpark was absolutely beautiful, but the concession concourse must have been a full 10 degrees hotter, and that was just at the concession entrance. With the fryers and whatnot running back there, I have no idea how they stay sane.

            • cpinva

              so, how do you feel about paying $10, at a theatre, for a tub of reheated popcorn, with peanut oil masquerading as butter? or $5, for a 3oz package of candy?

              the fact is, you aren’t forced to purchase food/drink, at either the ballpark or the theatre, any more than you’re forced to go to either. they are both luxury items, and luxury items tend to cost more than necessities.

    • Hornet Queen

      Protip from a fellow Giants fan: pick an inning and go down to The Public House for drinks. You get good beer or mixed drinks at regular SF bar prices, and they’ll put them in a plastic cup to go back to your seat. Instead of a $10.50 Bud Light, you can get a 16oz Trumer Pilsner for $6.50. Watching a game while sipping a nice Manhattan has become a favorite ritual of mine.

  • Theophrastus Bombastus von Hoehenheim den Sidste

    Truly, I am happy for them.

    Solidarity!

  • Good for them.

    Now for a bit of pedantry: Giants stadium is in New Jersey, not San Francisco.

    • BigDaddyJ

      If you want to be entirely pedantic, isn’t it “Giants Stadium,” properly capitalized? And, in fact, that refers to the now-demolished stadium in East Rutherford, the new one being called MetLife Stadium.

      (While on the subject of reused names, it’s fairly hard to find New York Baseball Giants caps nowadays unless you go to the “historical” section of a sporting goods site. They’re actually still made, and, unsurprisingly, look like the logo used by the Mets, with the Giants’ colors. There was not a whole lot of originality amongst the Mets or the then-moving Giants. Or, I suppose you can call it nostalgia for a beautifully-done logo.)

      • Well yes, but I was just capitalizing it the same way the Counterspin article did.

        I used to have an old Philadelphia A’s hat somewhere that my brother gave me for Christmas. I wish I knew where it was.

  • Socrets

    Well, given the horrible news regarding everything else, I’ll take it. I’m just keeping in mind that this is California, which to me seems less like a substantive victory, and more of a low hanging fruit kind of deal. However, I know very little about labor history and politics outside of Loomis’s Sisyphean task of keeping the historical record of labor straight, and willing to admit ignorance in this case such that this is probably a big deal.

    On a side note, I am BEYOND happy that I can edit my comments even if it is within a small time frame.

  • J. Otto Pohl
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