CHICAGO — In another effort to get a new contract, a number of workers at Wrigley Field could walk off the job this weekend.
UNITE HERE Local 1, which represents a number of concessions employees in the ballpark who work for Levy Restaurants, announced that their membership voted by “an overwhelming majority” to authorize a strike ahead of the team’s final regular season series against the Colorado Rockies.
That begins on Friday and runs through Sunday, and thanks to the vote, the union could call for a strike at any moment. This comes as UNITE HERE Local 1 and Levy haven’t been able to come to terms on a new contract since their old one expired on Oct. 31, 2020.
Over 700 bartenders, cashiers, cooks, dishwashers, suite runners and warehouse workers at Wrigley Field are represented by the union.
“Workers of Compass Levy at Wrigley Field welcome visitors to one of the most iconic venues in Chicago and serve baseball fans with dedication,” said UNITE HERE Local 1 president Karen Kent in a statement. “They are asking for nothing more than to be treated equally to stadium workers at the United Center and Sox Park so they can take care of their families and live with dignity. Concessions workers at Wrigley Field are tired of waiting for Compass Levy to step up to the plate and are ready to do whatever it takes to win a fair contract.”
According to the union, workers are seeking a $20 per hour minimum wage, expanded health care coverage and a pension.
After the strike vote, Levy Restaurants had this response.
We are baffled by UNITE HERE Local 1’s decision, which prevents team members from immediately benefitting from the significantly increased wages and benefits that we have proposed. We have been at the table bargaining for more than a year, and our current offer is more than double any previous agreement at Wrigley Field. This proposal includes immediate wage increases up to 30%, with non-tipped positions earning at least $20 per hour, as well as the introduction of an additional tip guarantee for tipped positions. It also includes significantly expanded healthcare, and enhanced benefits. Should a strike occur, plans are in place to continue food and beverage service.