Aramark Workers Plan to Strike

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Aramark Workers at Wells Fargo Center Announce New Strike Amid Playoff Season


Aramark employees at the Wells Fargo Center, home of the Philadelphia 76ers, are set to strike during a crucial NBA playoff game on April 25. This marks the second strike action by the workers as they push for better wages and unified employment terms across the Philadelphia sports complexes.

Rising Tensions in Wage Negotiations

Workers, including bartenders, concession staff, cooks, servers, dishwashers, and warehouse personnel, represented by Unite Here Local 274, have been engaged in months of negotiations with Aramark. The crux of the disagreement stems from Aramark’s recent proposal, which offered a mere $0.25 hourly wage increase—an amount the workers have deemed insufficient given their contributions and the company’s stature.

Inadequate Compensation Offers

During a recent City Council meeting, Carlton Epps, a representative of the Aramark workers at all three Philadelphia sports venues—Wells Fargo Center, Citizens Bank Park, and Lincoln Financial Field—voiced the collective discontent. “We are fans of the team, but we must take a stand,” Epps stated, underscoring the necessity of the strike coinciding with the playoff season to highlight their plight.

Support from City Council

The workers have not only garnered sympathy but active support from several City Council members. Earlier this month, the council discussed Resolution 240295, which officially backs the workers’ cause. The resolution passed, signaling strong municipal support for the workers’ demands. This council endorsement came after a decisive union vote in March, where 92% of workers authorized strike action, reflecting overwhelming frustration with the current terms.

Previous Strike Actions

The announcement of the upcoming strike follows a series of protests that began on April 9, when hundreds of Aramark employees picketed outside the sports complexes. The strike led to resumed negotiations, but the union has expressed disappointment with Aramark’s subsequent wage increase proposal, describing it as woefully inadequate.

Worker Demands and Corporate Contracts

The central issue for the workers is the demand for a single contract covering all three sports venues, as opposed to the separate contracts currently in place for each location. This change would allow employees to accumulate hours across venues for full-time benefits, a critical factor since many currently work enough hours combined but are denied full-time benefits due to the fragmented contract structure.

Aramark’s Response

In response to the ongoing disputes and the planned strike, Aramark has reiterated its commitment to negotiating in good faith. “We continue to bargain with the intention of reaching an equitable solution for all parties involved,” an Aramark spokesperson stated. Despite their expressed intent, the company also noted disappointment over the union’s decision to strike, especially before responding to the latest offer.

Economic and Social Implications

The strike and ongoing disputes highlight significant issues in the service industry, particularly around fair wages and employee benefits. Worker Fred Motley emphasized the broader implications of their struggle, stating, “It’s not just about wages; it’s about our ability to afford basic healthcare and live decently.”


As the Wells Fargo Center prepares for an intense playoff atmosphere, the backdrop of labor disputes adds a layer of complexity to the events unfolding both on and off the court. The outcome of these negotiations will likely have far-reaching implications for labor relations in similar industries, where workers seek to balance the demands of flexible labor with fair compensation and benefits. The Aramark workers’ strike underscores a critical moment in labor activism, as employees across sectors increasingly demand better terms and recognition of their essential contributions to major businesses.

Related: Aramark’s Pioneering Initiative In Patient Nutrition Care

Source: Philly Voice