Workers who staff Fenway Park’s food operations ratified a new union contract this month. The 5-year agreement with food service provider Aramark and UNITE HERE Local 26 locks in financial gains including a 3% wage increase annually, improved incentives and bonuses for good attendance to staff Sox games, new holidays, and a 401(k) plan. The final tally was 440 “yes” votes to 22 “no” votes.
“We are glad to have been able to come to an agreement with Aramark. In Boston, we get things done, and we don’t cut corners,” said UNITE HERE Local 26 President Brian Lang.
Aramark representatives met with a robust committee of workers representing the fine dining establishments, retail outlets, concessions and beer stands, vendors, and warehouse. During 4-months of negotiations both sides committed to bargaining sessions that often left them leaving the Park at midnight or later.
“We had great turn out for the vote and it was awesome to see our hard work lead to a stronger contract with real economic gains,” said Third Floor Roof Deck Beer Seller and Bargaining Committee Member Kristen Meagher.
The new deal includes improved incentives for attendance. Workers gained a new tier of incentive pay for working a large number of games and events. Those who work every single home Red Sox game will receive a “perfect attendance” bonus.
The contract features a 401(k) retirement plan, savings on MBTA passes and parking, and significant financial gains of 3% a year. A busser, for example, will go from $13.75 an hour to $15.96. New hires will earn the full union wage faster, leading to a 14.5% wage increase for those entering their third season in 2015.
There were also changes made to anticipate more work off-season staffing events at Fenway Park. Paid holidays are now included in the off-season, and workers who average 25 hours a week will be able to enroll in a healthcare plan through the company. All workers at the park will be eligible for training to pick up shifts if needed in the growing catering and event-hosting operation.
“What could be better than a union job overlooking the Red Sox playing at Fenway Park?” said concessions grill cook Alan Page.