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Aramark workers at Wells Fargo Center will strike again next week

Aramark workers at the Wells Fargo Center will strike Thursday, April 25, interrupting a 76ers playoff game, employees announced at a City Council meeting

This is the second time workers declared a strike as they negotiate for a new contract with the food company. 

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“We are fans of the team, but I must announce at this time, we will be starting another strike again on Thursday for the playoffs,” Carlton Epps, who works for Aramark at all three stadiums, said during the meeting. 

Bartenders, concession workers, cooks, servers, dishwashers and warehouse employees represented by the Unite Here Local 274 union have been in negotiations for the past few months. Workers seek higher wages and full-time benefits, as they often work at all three sports complex venues – Wells Fargo Center, Citizens Bank Park and Lincoln Financial Field – but their hours at each are counted separately. Thus, many work the equivalent hours of a full-time job without health care benefits. 

Workers gained the support of City Council members earlier this month, and they spoke at Thursday’s meeting regarding Resolution 240295 for official council support. The union authorized a strike in March after 92% of workers voted in favor. The council adopted the resolution during the meeting. 

Hundreds of workers held a strike April 9, picketing outside the stadiums. As a result, Unite Here said that workers and Aramark resumed negotiations. However, it said the latest proposal from Aramark offered only a $0.25 hourly raise. 

It shouldn’t be this way with a company as large as Aramark for workers to only be offered a $0.25 raise. It’s ridiculous,” worker Fred Motley said. “We shouldn’t have to struggle to afford basic health care necessities. We need family-sustaining wage increases.”

Aramark has separate contracts with each venue. Contracts with Citizens Bank Park and Lincoln Financial Field also recently expired and will need to be renegotiated. Workers, though, are seeking a single contract for all three stadiums. 

“Aramark will continue to bargain in good faith with the union and its members to reach an agreement that works for everyone,” Aramark said in a statement. “We are disappointed the union has announced another strike before responding to the offer discussed at the last bargaining session on April 11. Aramark has contingency plans in place to ensure our services are not interrupted and that the fan experience remains strong during the playoffs.”

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