This is a big contract year for the San Francisco Giants; star pitcher Tim Lincecum will want a new deal after his $40.5 million agreement expires, and the workers who sell beer and garlic fries while he performs hope to field their first raise in four seasons.
More than 800 union concession workers — who cook and serve AT&T Park’s highly touted ballpark food and sell everything from programs to orange novelty Panda hats honoring Pablo Sandoval — have been without a labor contract since their last agreement expired in 2010.
That was the year the Giants first won the World Series, and the year the workers’ agreement expired with Centerplate, the company that handles sales at AT&T Park and hundreds of other stadiums nationwide, according to union UNITE HERE Local 2.
Organizers handed out leaflets informing fans of their plight at Giants FanFest, and launched a web site — www.TheGiantZero.org — outlining their case.
Concession workers’ wages start at around $11 per hour and increase to $16 per hour after 50 games, according to union officials. Most work six-hour shifts.
The Giants are Major League Baseball’s seventh-richest franchise, according to Forbes, and are among the top sellers of team merchandise. The team has increased in value by $160 million since 2010 and sold $600,000 worth of gear and memorabilia in 36 hours after the Giants won the 2010 National League pennant.
A spokeswoman for the Giants directed all questions for comment to Centerplate. In a brief statement sent via e-mail, a San Diego-based spokesman for the company said that the company plans to meet with union organizers in March.
Union organizers declined to speak on the record with The San Francisco Examiner ahead of those first talks.
About 750 workers at AT&T Park are represented by Local 2, with another 75 organized with Teamsters Local 853, according to union representative John Arnolfo.
The Giants have also become a player in real estate, committing more than a billion dollars to develop a parcel of land near the China Basin ballpark. Speaking with reporters at the future site of an Anchor Brewing Co. brewery at Pier 48 — the Giants’ first tenant — Mayor Ed Lee noted that his own wages have been cut over the last four years, but added that he is hopeful “our labor friends have good conversations to support the business relationships that we have.”
“And go Giants,” added the mayor, an avid baseball fan.