The AT&T Park Concession Workers have voted to strike, and walk off their jobs of serving food to the customers. Reportedly, they haven’t got a raise in four years. At first, I wasn’t going to wade into this issue until I saw this text at the website:
Centerplate has told us that the Giants take more than 50% of all food and beverage revenues. That means that out of a $10 beer, Centerplate is left with less than $5 to pay for the beer, the delivery of the beer, the workers’ wages and benefits, and still earn a profit.The giant share that the Giants take is part of the problem!
So if that’s the case: that the San Francisco Giants, which own AT&T Park, govern the revenue splits with Centerplate, then the dispute should be with the San Francisco Giants, and not with Centerplate. Indeed, Local 2 should be walking in time with Centerplate, not working against them.
And the reason is simple: Centerplate could be replaced with another company.
If that happens, the new firm could simply elect to start all over again and hire a new set of workers. And while that act, in itself, would be managerially stupid, as it’s better to use experienced concession workers, it’s not outside the realm of possibility.
Local 2 sends two messages: first, it wants more from Centerplate, oh, but then it says that Centerplate can’t really afford to give more. Think about that, because it’s right on the website that’s linked to from here.
Local 2 says The San Francisco Giants have made record revenues, and that’s true – most recently it took in $250 million in 2011, and that was an 80 percent increase the year before. But here’s where the cold fact of business operations trumps anything else: most of that revenue gain was from merchandise sales, not concessions. The fact is that the buying of food is a game day experience, and rises and falls with attendance. Merchandise sales is a different animal because one can buy an SF Giants player’s jersey online, and does – hence the revenue gain to the SF Giants.
I can’t buy an SF Giants Hot Dog online and have it sent to my home in Hawaii – if I had one.
That’s out of the control of Centerplate, but it is in the control of the San Francisco Giants.
The correct argument that Local 2 should make is that they work with Centerplate, and are a major part of the SF Giants game day experience. Thus, they should be given a “game day experience” bonus so they can be rewarded for their work in helping to make the San Francisco Giants a successful sports franchise.
And let’s not forget that AT&T Park is more than just the San Francisco Giants Baseball Operations, it’s concerts and events, too. All of that revenue is collected by the SF Giants, and AT&T Park Concession Workers and Centerplate help provide a fan experience for those dates, too. Again, how many concerts and events is not in Centerplate’s power to control – that’s the work of SF Giants Enterprises.
So, Local 2 needs to join with Centerplate and deal with the SF Giants.