Concession workers at Dodger Stadium have threatened a strike ahead of next week’s All-Star Game festivities.
Ariel Avgar, professor of labor relations, law and history, says timing in labor relations is essential. The Dodger Stadium workers bargaining for a new contract ahead of the All-Star Game offers a unique opportunity to show the essential work the union members are doing and increases their negotiation power:
“The overwhelming vote to authorize a strike by the members of Unite-Here Local 11 is a perfect illustration of the role that leverage plays in the labor relations arena. The upcoming All-Star Game provides the union, representing the 1,500 Dodger Stadium workers, with a tremendous source of power. The potential costs to the food and beverage operator (the employer), to the league, and to the many fans who have already made their travel arrangements places considerable pressure on the employer to make concessions in their negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement.
“Timing in labor relations is essential and bargaining for a new contract while providing food and beverage services to a stadium that is hosting the All-Star Game for the first time in 42 years provides a unique opportunity for the union to both increase their bargaining power and to clearly demonstrate their members’ essentiality.
“The strike authorization also fits into a broader trend of increased collective action in the U.S. over the past couple of years. Workers and the unions representing them have become increasingly willing to make use of collective action, such as the strike or strike threat, to push for better working conditions. It is too early to tell whether this renewed reliance on collective action will last in the long term, but it is clearly affecting labor-management relations across a host of industries and settings, including food and beverage workers.”