AT&T Park concessionaire Billie Feliciano is circulating an online petition calling for the San Francisco Giants and the team’s exclusive food vendor, Centerplate, to address her wage and health care concerns. While Centerplate boasts that AT&T workers earn $15-20 an hour with full health costs covered (a figure disputed by at least one published report), Feliciano and colleagues are frustrated by a wage freeze during a period of huge prosperity for the ballclub.
I’ve worked concessions at Giants games since 1978. Back then, a 24-ounce beer cost $3.75 and the average ticket to a game was less than $4.00.
But even though the price of a beer has gone all the way up to $10.25, my co-workers and I have been hit with wage freezes for the past three years. While many of us scrape by with multiple jobs, living paycheck to paycheck in low-income housing, Centerplate and the Giants are raking it in. Every game is sold out, and the lines for garlic fries and hot dogs are longer than ever. The value of the Giants has increased 40% and its revenues have risen 14% while we’ve been rewarded with a Giant Zero.
Our primary dispute is with Centerplate, a South Carolina based company subcontracted by the Giants to run concessions at AT&T Park. Our contract with Centerplate expired in 2010, and we have been unable to reach a new deal. Centerplate’s proposal would severely limit our access to health care and maintain the past three years of wage freezes. That’s why we’ve voted to authorize a strike at AT&T Park.
Centerplate has told us that the Giants take more than 50% of all food and beverage revenues. That means that out of a $10 beer, Centerplate is left with less than $5 to pay for the beer, the delivery of the beer, the workers’ wages and benefits, and still earn a profit.
The giant share that the Giants take is a big part of the problem!