Talks loom after ballpark strike

Jeff Chiu/AP file photoConcession workers picket their employer

Jeff Chiu/AP file photoConcession workers picket their employer

AT&T Park concession workers are prepared to resume negotiations with their employer after initiating a one-day strike during Saturday’s Giants game.

The ballpark’s concessionaire, Centerplate, is planning to invite leaders from Unite Here Local 2 back to the bargaining table this week to resume contract talks that stalled Thursday.

Union spokesman Nischit Hegde said Local 2 is willing to resume talks if Centerplate extends an invitation.  

“We’re ready to go back to the bargaining table, we want a contract,” Hegde said.

Roughly 750 union members participated in Saturday’s walkout at AT&T Park, leading to long lines at concession stands as management and replacement workers filled in.

The union is seeking wage increases, better health care benefits and job security after going more than three years without a contract. If negotiations stall again, workers could call another strike, this time for multiple games.

Two weeks ago, the union authorized a strike of up to five days on a 500-16 vote by members.

“We still have that in our toolbox of communications,” Hegde said. “We haven’t decided what the next steps will be; we’re hoping to negotiate.”

Centerplate spokesman Sam Singer said the company is hoping to reach a deal with the workers, but he added that operations will continues if they strike.

“The game and service went off without a hitch,” he said of Saturday’s game. “It had no economic impact on Centerplate or AT&T Park — that’s not a positive sign for Local 2 striking again.”

The Giants contract with Centerplate, a South Carolina-based concession management firm, to run the food services at AT&T Park. The team issued a statement Saturday saying it is not involved in the labor dispute between the company and its employees.

But the union said it would like the Giants to weigh in on the matter.

“They have a significant say in what happens at AT&T Park,” Hegde said. “If they felt like doing something they could.”   

The Giants did not respond to requests for comment Monday.

Mayor Ed Lee has reached out to Centerplate and the union offering to help in any way possible.

pgackle@sfexaminer.com

LocalPaul GackleSan Francisco GiantsUnite Here Local 2

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