Aramark food service, retail workers at Wells Fargo Center vote to authorize strike if necessary

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Monday, March 25, 2024
Aramark strike: Wells Fargo Center food service, retail workers vote to authorize strike
The Aramark food service and retail workers for Philadelphia'a Wells Fargo Center cast their ballots this weekend, authorizing a strike.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Unionized food service and hospitality workers at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia have voted in favor of authorizing a strike if necessary.

They are the people you see behind the counter serving you food on game day.

The Aramark food service and retail workers with United Here Philly Local 274 cast their ballots this weekend, voting with a 92% majority that they are prepared to strike if needed.

They say they want wage hikes to combat inflation and address health benefit expenses.

"I have a medical situation that I could not afford to take care of in these last four years," said cook, Fed Motley. "During those four years, I've been working here -- even though they say it's part-time, I've been fortunate to work full-time hours during this situation."

The union wants pay and benefits to be the same as those at neighboring Lincoln Financial Field and Citizens Bank Park.

Sunday's vote only gives them the go-ahead to strike should negotiations fall through.

Aramark says it intends to keep working toward a settlement but has a plan in place to ensure services at the Wells Fargo Center are not interrupted. Many workers say they work full-time hours and they want their benefits to reflect that.

"I work all three buildings. I should have health care. My hours should be totaled up together, not separated," said Samantha Spector, a club box attendant. "Our wages aren't livable. We need a fair contract."

"They treat us like we're nothing even though we're the ones who take care of the customers allowing them to make all that money," said bartender, Carlton Epps. "I should not have to have citizens of Pennsylvania subsidize my health care when I work for a company that makes all that money."

A spokesperson for Aramark released a statement that said:

"We respect the right of our employees to demonstrate and look forward to continuing to bargain in good faith to reach an agreement that works for everyone."

If there is a strike, it could affect fans at the next Philadelphia 76ers home game on Wednesday, as well as the next Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.