Dodgers and stadium workers reach deals, ending strike threat

Dodgers and stadium workers reach deals, ending strike threat

The Dodgers and the union representing about 450 stadium workers reached an agreement on two new five-year contracts, the sides announced Tuesday, ending tense months-long negotiations.

The contracts, according to a statement released by the parties, will give the lowest-paid Dodger Stadium game-day employees total wage increases between 45% and 50% over the five-year period. Affected workers include ushers, security officers, ticket takers, ticket sellers, hospitality team members and groundskeepers. Full-time employees and ushers have separate contracts.

“I’m proud of all of the members of our union, SEIU-USWW, for their hard work and strong organization,” Dodger Stadium usher and union executive board member Irene Aguilar said in the statement. “Thank you to the Dodgers for working with us to reach a fair agreement that will benefit stadium workers for years to come.”

The workers’ previous contract expired Jan. 31. Employees had been working on the expired contract since then. Negotiations began in November, according to SEIU-USWW officials.

More than 80 workers gathered to protest outside Dodger Stadium earlier this month before the Dodgers hosted the New York Yankees on national television to draw attention to their situation.

“In my 27 years working with the SEIU, representing these workers, we have never had to go on strike,” SEIU-USWW President David Huerta said after the protest. “But the circumstances we’re looking at — when you look at inflation, you look at the profitability of this organization, the cost of living — the wages that are being negotiated now, these workers understand that this is a moment for them, to be able to negotiate what they consider what they need to be able to survive in this city.”

The last contract included an 18% wage increase over five years. Union officials argued a more substantial raise was necessary given the skyrocketing cost of living and inflation in recent years.

In October, concession workers reached an agreement on a contract that included at least a $10-an-hour raise over two years after threatening to strike during the All-Star Game three months earlier.

Those workers, however, are employed by Levy Restaurants, a company based in Chicago that operates the concessions at Dodger Stadium. The workers represented by SEIU-USWW, which stands for Service Employees International Union-United Service Workers West, are direct employees of the Dodgers.

“These new contracts confirm the strong working relationship that exists between the Dodgers and SEIU-USWW, and we thank David Huerta and the other union representatives for their collaboration throughout the negotiation process,” Dodgers president and chief executive Stan Kasten said.