Update on Compass/Levy Labor Dispute at Dodger Stadium

BREAKING NEWS: 07/11/2022

Dodger Stadium Workers Vote 99% to Authorize Strike Ahead of MLB All-Star Game

Workers employed by concessionaire Compass/Levy seek a fair union contract

Los Angeles, CA: Yesterday, stadium workers who work the food and beverage stands operated by concessions giant Compass Group and Levy Restaurants at Dodger Stadium voted 99% to strike as Los Angeles gets ready for the All-Star Game. A strike could be called at any moment.
Compass Group is the sixth largest company in the world. Its subsidiary, Levy Restaurants, employs nearly 1,500 food servers, bartenders, suite attendants, cooks and dishwashers at Dodger Stadium, an overwhelming majority of whom are workers of color. These workers are seeking to negotiate a fair new union contract.
“I voted yes to strike because I often have to pick up shifts at the Rose Bowl just to try to make ends meet. I love working at Dodger Stadium and know that our company can do better, ” said Laura Ortiz, bartender for Compass Group and Levy Restaurants, 15 seasons at Dodger Stadium.
“The Dodgers are my life, I even took my engagement pictures at Dodger Stadium. I proudly served Dodger dogs and beers for many years and want our company, Compass/Levy, to recognize our worth and raise standards for all of its stadium workers,” said Sylvia Sosa, bartender for Compass Group and Levy Restaurants, 46 seasons at Dodger Stadium.
“Stadium workers are proud of the role they play to bring fans the best game experience possible. They 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,” said Susan Minato, Co-President UNITE HERE Local 11.
Earlier this year, stadium workers at SoFi won a pathbreaking union contract that provides for dignified wages, benefits, and other protections. Levy workers at Dodger Stadium are seeking to win the same rights.

Kenny Washington Day

February 13, 2022—Super Bowl Sunday!—was officially marked as Kenny Washington Day by a motion of the LA City Council introduced by Councilmember Curren Price. Kenny Washington was the first African-American player to integrate the NFL. Two days previously, a tentative agreement was reached between concession workers and management at SoFi Stadium on their first Union contract. To celebrate both the legacy of Kenny Washington and the tentative union contract for SoFi workers, we were joined—amongst others—by civil rights legend, Reverend James Lawson. AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler, LA County Fed President Ron Herrera, LA City Councilmember Curren Price, NFL Players Association President JC Tretter, and the NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith.

On Eve of Super Bowl UNITE HERE Local 11 & NFLPA Honor Former Rams Player Kenny Washington

Joined by prominent labor, political, and civil rights leaders to celebrate SoFi Stadium’s union recognition with focus on tourism as economic engine

Los Angeles – Union members, labor leaders, elected officials, and allies gathered in celebration of a resolution passed to “commemorate February 13, 2022, as Kenny Washington Day and recognize his trailblazing contributions in breaking the color barrier in the NFL and his service to the City”.

Washington’s vision of a more inclusive sports world lives on as concessions workers at SoFi Stadium fight for good jobs in a region that has predominantly left out black workers.

Kurt Petersen, Co-President of UNITE HERE Local 11, said, “More than 30,000 professional hospitality workers – bartenders, servers, room attendants, cooks – who have built and who sustain our region’s most important and largest industry, tourism. We believe that when hospitality workers can provide for themselves and their families, they lift up the entire city with them.”

Susan Minato, Co-President of Local 11 and Chair of Trustees of the Hospitality Training Academy, reminded everyone that it takes intention to do the work. “Local 11 has set the goal to reintegrate our hospitality industry that has systematically removed African Africans. It takes bringing jobs to communities like Inglewood. But not just any jobs – they need to be good jobs where people can support themselves and their families.”

“At SoFi stadium, UNITE HERE Local 11 has advanced the cause of racial, economic, and gender justice,” said Reverend James Lawson, architect of the Civil Rights Movement.

Chris Smith, a suite attendant at SoFi Stadium, celebrated the union victory. “This union job makes it possible for me to accomplish my dream – buying a house. My dream is in my hands now. It’s monumental to the African American community – for example dishwashers will be making $30 an hour and family health insurance by end of the contract.”

Kenny Washington’s family was presented with the resolution and stadium workers will celebrate union recognition. Ahead of Super Bowl Sunday, the event honored the important work former Rams player Kenny Washington did to integrate sports and highlight what is being done now to bring good jobs to the region.

“Kenny Washington has a special place in history, in the story of the NFL, in the story of Los Angeles, in the story of fighting for justice, equality and inclusivity EVERYWHERE,” said Councilmember Curren Price. “I’m proud to have introduced a resolution that officially marks February 13, 2022 as ‘Kenny Washington Day’ in the City of Angels.”

“We are incredibly proud as a family, after all these years, that there is interest in telling my grandfather’s story,” said Kirk Washington, grandson of former Rams player Kenny Washington.

Super Bowl LVI marks the first of many sporting events to be hosted in Southern California in the coming years and will serve as an example of what can be achieved when workers, elected leaders and the community are a part of that process.

“Today’s solidarity event was a testament to the values of diversity, inclusion and equity that our union brothers and sisters stand for, just as Kenny Washington did so courageously when he broke the modern NFL color barrier in 1946,” said DeMaurice Smith, Executive Director of the NFL Player’s Association.

“In order to win justice for workers of color and the communities they live in, we must empower them economically, which includes increasing access to good union jobs,” said Ron Herrera, the President of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.. “I am proud of the work that the Los Angeles Labor Movement has done to ensure that SoFi stadium provides good union jobs for communities of color in this region.

“Working people shouldn’t have to walk through fire to organize a union and have a good paying job because we know that unions transform people’s lives and entire communities, not just one workplace. And that’s what this SoFi agreement will do,” said Liz Shuler, President of the AFL-CIO.

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The National Football League Players Association is the union for professional football players in the National Football League. Established in 1956, the NFLPA has a long history of assuring proper recognition and representation of players’ interests. The NFLPA has shown that it will do whatever is necessary to assure that the rights of players are protected—including ceasing to be a union, if necessary, as it did in 1989. In 1993, the NFLPA again was officially recognized as the union representing the players and negotiated a landmark Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL. The current CBA will govern the sport through the 2030 NFL season. Learn more at www.nflpa.com.