Rogers Centre Security Out of Bounds for Treatment of Concession Workers



    Charges filed against the Blue Jays Owner Rogers Media and Sportservice
    for intimidation at Labour Board

    TORONTO, Aug. 10 /CNW/ - Unfair labour practice charges have been filed
today against Rogers Media Inc, owner of the Toronto Blue Jays, and Delaware
North Companies Sportservice (Sportservice) by UNITE HERE at the Ontario
Labour Relations Board, alleging the Rogers Centre security and Sportservice
have used intimidation and interfered with the union's activities.
    UNITE HERE has been working with the Rogers Centre Stadium concession
workers to organize a union since late July. The concession workers, who
provide food, liquor and related services at the former Skydome, are employed
by Delaware North Companies Sportservice who has the contract to provide
concession services at the Rogers Centre, home of the Toronto Blue Jays and
the Toronto Argonauts.
    The unfair labour practice filing details how, since August 5th, Rogers
Centre security and Sportservice management have been surveilling employees
who spoke with union organizers prior to entering the stadium for work. Rogers
Centre security are physically confiscating union leaflets from employees and
questioning them about their conversations with the union. Though the Rogers
Centre is not the employer of the concession workers, the filing indicates
they have been acting "under the direction of and on behalf of Sportservice
management."
    "The intimidation and interference we're seeing by the Rogers Centre
security of these workers is outrageous," said Alex Dagg, the Director of the
Ontario Council of UNITE HERE. "Sportservice is even worse, interrogating
workers about their union activities, threatening employees' livelihood in a
series of meetings and it appears, telling workers that Sportservice could
lose its contract with the Rogers Centre if the employees chose a union. It is
ridiculous, since the Rogers Centre has a contract with Sportservice and no
say in whether its concessions workers unionize, but they've put that out
there to scare these workers."
    Threatening employees' economic livelihood as a consequence of exercising
their rights to form a union is a violation of the Ontario Labour Relations
Act, as are acts, like those of the Rogers Centre security, which are designed
to have a chilling or intimidating effect on employees trying to unionize.
    "UNITE HERE is going to stand with these workers against this blatant
attack on their rights," said Dagg. "Toronto sports fans would be upset to
know about the kind of bullying these workers, many of whom are young and
working their first job, are facing while trying to stand up for their rights
at work. The Rogers Centre and Sportservice need to stop their bullying."
    The Rogers Centre concession workers are the only non-union stadium
concession workers at a major sports venue in Toronto. UNITE HERE represents
50,000 foodservice, hotel, apparel, distribution and manufacturing employees
in Canada and 450,000 across North America, including thousands at some of
sports' most venerated locations like Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park and Jacobs
Field.





For further information:

For further information: Wynne Hartviksen, Director of Communications
and Political Action, UNITE HERE Canada at (416) 510-0887, ext. 265 or via
cell at (416) 473-2632

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UNITE HERE CANADA

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