Rogers Centre Concession Workers Receive Major League Support from Baseball Players



    Toronto Blue Jays Players and Major League Baseball Players Association
    support effort of concession workers to form a union and improve their
    working conditions.

    TORONTO, Sept. 13 /CNW/ - Concessions workers at the Rogers Centre
gathered more support today in their efforts to form a union with UNITE HERE
and improve working conditions at Toronto's only major non-union sporting
venue.
    In a letter directed to Sportservice Workers at the Rogers Centre, Donald
Fehr, Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Players Association,
encouraged the concession workers' union drive.
    "You have an important role in the operation of the Rogers Centre," Fehr
wrote. "Along with the players on the field, you are part of the ballpark
experience. We want you to know that the players are behind you in your drive
to form a union."
    Rogers Centre concessions workers have been trying to form a union with
UNITE HERE since late July but have faced serious anti-union campaigning by
their employer, Sportservice (a Delaware North Company) and security, who work
directly for the Rogers Centre, a division of Rogers Media. In August, UNITE
HERE filed an unfair labour practice complaint at the Ontario Labour Relations
Board, detailing how both Rogers Centre security and Sportservice have used
intimidation and interfered with the union's activities.
    "These workers, many of whom are young and working their first job, have
faced a lot because of the antics of their employer and the Rogers Centre
security," said Alex Dagg, Director of the Ontario Council of UNITE HERE.
"This kind of support for their efforts to improve their working conditions,
by the Major League Baseball Players Association, is wonderful. It is great to
see the players stick up for these workers who are an integral part of the
baseball experience."
    Fehr's letter, which is being distributed to the concessions workers,
clearly expresses the support of the Toronto Blue Jays players for the
workers' attempts to improve their working conditions.
    "Forming a union is about having the power to make improvements in your
life," says Fehr's letter. "Members of UNITE HERE work in ballparks all over
North America and enjoy decent and fair wages and working conditions."
    He concluded his letter with, "The Toronto Blue Jays players and our
Association stand with you in your attempt."
    The Rogers Centre concession workers have been garnering high profile
support of their campaign in the last few weeks. Actor and activist Danny
Glover, who attended a rally outside Rogers Headquarters a couple weeks ago to
support the workers, also went to Tuesday night's game to meet and encourage
the workers in person.

    UNITE HERE represents 50,000 hotel, food service, garment and
manufacturing workers across Canada, and 450,000 across North America,
including workers at 75 sports venues. UNITE HERE has members at some of
sports most venerable locations, including Fenway Park, Jacobs Field and
Yankee Stadium.





For further information:

For further information: Wynne Hartviksen, (416) 510-0887, ext 265 or
(416) 473-2632

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