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Dodger Stadium concession workers authorize strike ahead of All-Star Game

Concession workers at Dodger Stadium are threatening to go on strike just before All-Star Game festivities begin. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Concession workers at Dodger Stadium voted Sunday to authorize a strike that could begin just before Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game festivities.

Ninety-nine percent of food and beverage workers at the stadium approved the authorization according to labor union Unite Here Local 11, which “represents over 32,000 workers employed in hotels, restaurants, airports, sports arenas, and convention centers throughout Southern California and Arizona.”

All-star festivities will start Saturday with the Futures Game. The Home Run Derby takes place Monday, with the All-Star Game set for Tuesday.

The union added that it represents nearly 1,500 “food servers, bartenders, suite attendants, cooks and dishwashers … an overwhelming majority of whom are workers of color” for Compass Group and its subsidiary, Levy Restaurants, the Chicago-based company that handles the stadium’s concessions.

Baseball’s players union said in a statement that it “stands in solidarity with the Dodger Stadium concessions workers. ... Like thousands of ballpark workers across the country, Local 11’s members are a vital yet under appreciated part of what makes our game great. They deserve to be treated fairly and will continue to have the 1,200 members of the MLBPA behind them.”

If there is a strike, the players union did not say whether it would cross picket lines.

Maria Hernandez, a spokeswoman for Unite Here, did not specify the workers’ demands but told the Los Angeles Times that workers face disparities in housing and health care as they seek what she described as a “fair new union contract.”

Susan Minato, co-president of Unite Here Local 11, told the Times that stadium workers are “the backbone of our tourism and sports industry, yet many struggle to stay housed and to make ends meet. They often live with economic uncertainty because the quality of jobs vary stadium to stadium. No worker should have to continue living like this.”

Earlier this year, workers at SoFi Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers of the NFL, won a contract that Unite Here told the Times “provides for dignified wages, benefits and other protections.” The union said it is seeking the same for Dodger Stadium workers.

“I voted yes to strike because I often have to pick up shifts at the Rose Bowl just to try to make ends meet,” Laura Ortiz, a bartender for the past 15 seasons at Dodger Stadium, said in a statement released by Local 11. “I love working at Dodger Stadium and know that our company can do better.”

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