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Angels facing labor woes — but not on the field

Los Angeles Angels of AnaheimThe Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are in negotiations with their Angel Stadium hourly game-day employees over hourly wages, and there’s a chance the workers could go on strike before the end of the season.

A three-year contract between the Angels and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) expired earlier this year, but the two sides are still working on its terms. The Angels have offered a new contract that calls for no wage increases and the elimination of bonuses for playoff and World Series games. SEIU officials, meanwhile, want to see Angel Stadium workers paid at the same rate as Dodger Stadium and Petco Park workers. At Angel Stadium, the top-paid ushers make $11.21 an hour; meanwhile at Dodger Stadium top-paid ushers make $12.77 per hour and at the Coliseum the top-paid ushers make $14.03 per hour. If the two sides cannot come to some sort of an agreement, a late-season strike is a possibility.

In the grand scheme of things for the Angels bottom line, we’re not talking about a huge amount of money: the team spends $6 million annually on game-day employees, or about $2 million less than the team will pay Joel Pineiro this season. It seems rather mean-spirited to go after game-day employees for a dollar or so an hour when the team is spending rather freely in other areas, rolling up a $138,999,024 payroll for the 2011 season. We’re talking folks who make between $5,000 and $10,0000 for an entire season — and in these times, many families are relying on these rather modest amounts to make ends meet.

Game-day employees are a vital part of the experience for Angels fans. We’re talking incredibly small amounts of money here in the grand scheme of things, and it seems a little mean-spirited to go after your lowest-paid when they are so important in creating first and lasting impressions for paying customers.


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