Laid-Off Ballpark Food Workers Serve Up Protest Outside MLB Game

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By RADIO.COM

More than 200 food-service workers who were furloughed or dismissed while MLB teams play in fan-less ballparks this season protested outside Oracle Park during Friday night's Athletics-Giants game.

The employees gathered at Willie Mays Plaza outside the Giants' home ballpark in San Francisco, according to media reports, many holding signs and distributing literature laying out their calls for greater financial support from the team.

"Owners are getting richer with the TV and radio contracts," one flyer read. "Players are getting paid. TV networks are raking in the advertising dollars.

"But the food service workers, many of whom have loyally served the fans for literally decades, are SUSPENDED -- WITHOUT PAY!"

Many of the workers are not technically Giants employees, working instead for the food-service contractor Bon Appetit, which recently announced layoffs with demand for ballpark labor down sharply owing to the no-fan policy.

Matt Heany, a supervisor for the workers, said the onus fell on the Giants, NBC Bay Area reported.

“The Giants can step up and do more,” he said. “The reality is that these workers may work for a subcontractor, but when you look at their shirts they are Giants. The Giants take credit for these employees, they champion and celebrate their workers.”

Between food workers, security, ushers and other game-day stadium personnel, MLB teams have laid off or furloughed upwards of 40,000 workers this season without fans in attendance, The Nation recently reported. Many of the mostly low-wage workers say they were left in the lurch, stripped of healthcare and their modest income.

In March, the Giants along with the rest of MLB's 30 teams said they would donate $1M each in aid for stadium workers.