NBA Lockout to ‘Devastate’ Arena Workers?

by September 28, 2011

According to the president of a union that represents NBA arena workers in California, should the League shut down operations for the entirety of the 2011-’12 season, the results would be quite devastating for his membership. From the LA Times: “The nation’s 29 NBA arenas and their workers are bracing for a loss of revenue and wages totaling tens of millions of dollars if the labor dispute between NBA owners and players leads to most or all of the 2011-12 season being canceled. The situation is particularly acute at Staples Center in Los Angeles, because it’s home to two NBA teams, the Lakers and Clippers. While the other NBA arenas each host 41 regular-season home games a year, Staples Center has 82. ‘It’s going to devastate these workers,; said Mike Garcia, president of the SEIU-United Service Workers West union, with nearly 1,000 members working at the three NBA arenas in California: Staples Center, Oracle Arena in Oakland and Power Balance Pavilion in Sacramento. ‘They have become very dependent on these jobs,’ he said. The workers include janitors, ushers and ticket-takers who earn about $11 an hour on average. An additional 700 food-service workers at Staples Center would be idled if Lakers and Clippers games were scrapped, said Tom Walsh, president of Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Local 11, the workers’ union. A canceled NBA season also would be a huge financial hit to the food-service companies that employ them, such as Levy Restaurants, which operates in 17 NBA arenas, including the three in California.”