BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Concessions workers at Oriole Park at Camden Yards are fighting for better pay, saying they’ve been struggling to make ends meet the last two seasons because of the pandemic and rises in the cost of living.
“We want to make sure we’re getting paid,” said concessions worker Nnameke Onejeme. “It’s not that hard… You need to pay us, pay us the $15 an hour minimum wage.”READ MORE: Maryland Weather: Storms Possible
Unite Here Local 7, a union representing 300 concessions workers, held a rally outside the ballpark on Monday afternoon calling on he stadium’s concessionaire, Delaware North, to boost pay.
Right now, concessions workers make minimum wage, $12.50 per hour, and they said workers with similar jobs in the area make an hourly wage of at least $15.
“We love, love, love our fans,” said Tracy Lingo, a staff director with Unite Here Local 7 said. “We love the Orioles. We want to be here at work, but we can’t come and work for $12.50.”
The workers said they’ve been hurting. They were laid off for the 2020 season because of the pandemic, when games were played without fans, and only half of them could return to work in 2021 due to capacity restrictions.READ MORE: Early Voting For Maryland Primary Begins
Workers said they’ve been negotiating with Delaware North since January.
In a statement to WJZ, the company said in part, “We will continue to negotiate in good faith with Unite Here Local 7 and remain committed to reaching an agreement that satisfies all parties.”
The workers told us no deals have been made yet and they’re growing frustrated.
“If they’re not going to do anything for us, what we can do is we won’t show up,” said Carolyn Pride. “Because we love the Orioles, like we were saying, but they gotta meet us some way with some kind of help.”
Workers do not have any set plans for a strike.MORE NEWS: National Weather Service Confirms EF-1 Tornado Hit Bowie, Second Tornado In Anne Arundel County
The union said they’ve had about four or five sessions with Delaware North. More are set for Wednesday and Thursday of this week.