Aramark, ballpark concession workers at odds over contract

The Phillies are headed to the playoffs, but some ballpark workers are not happy. Just before Sunday night’s game, members of UNITE HERE, which represents 1,500 concession workers, rejected a contract offer from Aramark.

A union representative said sticking points include wages and benefits.

Denise Pane, a suite attendant at Citizens Bank Park, is not so worried about wages. She said she just wants to work more.

“I did have a job for 20 years in a hospital and was laid off two years ago,” Pane said. “I was fortunate enough to pick up the Phillies full-time seasonal … before I was working as needed.

“This is my livelihood and I have to take three days off and I am not able to work,” she said. “Aramark requires that.”

Union members plan to distribute leaflets at the ballpark during games. They have been working under terms of a contract that expired March 31.

“We’re now forced to begin to bring the issue to the fans and to the Phillies, to let folks know what’s going on with the people who serve the food, serve the drinks and sell the merchandise at Citizens Bank Park,” said Rosslyn Wuchinich with UNITE HERE Local 274.

An Aramark spokeswoman said company officials are “disappointed” the union rejected the contract offer, which “contains the highest increases ever provided at Citizens Bank Park and is reflective of the dedication and hard work of our people.”

“We look forward to resuming negotiations and are hopeful that we will reach an agreement soon,” said Megan Haney, Aramark communications manger in a statement issued Monday evening.

In the interest of full disclosure, NewsWorks and WHYY receive support from the Aramark Charitable Fund and the Neubauer Foundation, which was set up by Aramark CEO Joe Neubauer.

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