FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 21
Sarah Lyons, [email protected], 312-385-0603
*B-ROLL and PHOTOS of today’s strike vote and last month’s informational picketing outside Wrigley Field available at www.unitehere1.org/Media*
Compass Levy Concessions Workers at Wrigley Field Authorize Strike
Workers seek fair contract, equal treatment to workers at Sox Park and United Center
CHICAGO – Today, concessions workers at Wrigley Field who are employed by Levy Restaurants, a subsidiary of Compass Group, voted to authorize a strike. The strike was authorized with an overwhelming majority voting in favor. A strike could be called at any moment.
Most workers employed by Cubs’ concessionaire Compass Levy make as little as $15.80 per hour. Workers have been without a contract for nearly three years since the contract expired on October 31, 2020. Compass Levy workers at Wrigley Field are seeking a $20 per hour minimum, expanded health care coverage and a pension.
“I voted yes to strike because when the season ends, I lose my health insurance. I have to pay out of pocket for my blood pressure medicine. It’s very stressful. I want to stay healthy so I can be there for my two children,” said Carlos Aguirre, a suite runner for Compass Levy at Wrigley Field who has worked there for 27 seasons.
“My children look to me to set the standard. The standard should not be $15.80 per hour or having to hold two jobs but still struggle. Working two jobs means my two children are usually already asleep by the time I get home from work. I miss getting to read a book with them before bedtime. I don’t want to strike but I will because my children and I deserve better,” said Sarah Williams who has worked for two seasons for Compass Levy at Wrigley Field as a stand lead.
Wrigley Field is the only Chicago stadium with workers represented by UNITE HERE Local 1 whose concessionaire has not settled a contract with its workers. Earlier this year, White Sox’s concessionaire Delaware North settled a contract that provides workers at Guaranteed Rate Field with the same standards that Compass Levy workers at Wrigley Field are demanding. During the Crosstown Classic last month, South Side concessions workers protested Compass Levy at Wrigley Field to show solidarity with their North Side counterparts.
The strike vote by Compass Levy workers at Wrigley Field comes eight months after Compass Levy workers at the United Center authorized a strike. Following a one-day strike in March 2023, Compass Levy workers at the United Center won a new contract with a $20 per hour minimum, expanded health care coverage and a pension, the same standards that concessions workers at Wrigley Field are seeking.
“Workers of Compass Levy at Wrigley Field welcome visitors to one of the most iconic venues in Chicago and serve baseball fans with dedication. They are asking for nothing more than to be treated equally to stadium workers at the United Center and Sox Park so they can take care of their families and live with dignity. Concessions workers at Wrigley Field are tired of waiting for Compass Levy to step up to the plate and are ready to do whatever it takes to win a fair contract,” said Karen Kent, President of UNITE HERE Local 1.
Compass Group is the world’s largest food and support services company. Its subsidiary, Levy Restaurants, employs over 700 bartenders, cashiers, cooks, dishwashers, suite runners and warehouse workers at Wrigley Field, an overwhelming majority of whom are workers of color. According to Compass Group’s 2022 Annual Report, the company had an operating profit of $1.92 billion in 2022, an increase of 175% from 2021. By May 2023, Compass Group reported a half year operating profit of $1.25 billion, which exceeded the company’s 2019 half year operating profit.
UNITE HERE Local 1 is a labor union representing hospitality workers in the Chicago area that work in hotels, restaurants, casinos, universities, stadiums, sports arenas, convention centers and airports.
“Compass Group Plc Is Once Again A Fortune World’s Most Admired Company In 2023.” Compass Usa.Com, Compass Group , 11 Apr. 2023, www.compass-usa.com/compass-group-plc-is-once-again-a-fortune-worlds-most-admired-company-in-2023/. Accessed 20 Sept. 2023.
 Compass Groups 2022 Annual Report states on page 14 ‘Operating profit of £1,500 million, an increase of 175%’, and on page 200 states that the ‘AVERAGE EXCHANGE RATE FOR THE YEAR 2022’ for USD was 1.28. https://www.compass-group.com/content/dam/compass-group/corporate/oar-2022/2022-annual-report-compass-group.pdf . Accessed 20 Sept. 2023.
 Compass Group 2023 Half Year Results states on page 10, ‘Operating profit 1,050, HY23 operating profit now higher than HY19’, and states on page 43 that the Exchange Rate for used in Consolidation of Income Statement was 1.19 USD https://www.compass-group.com/content/dam/compass-group/corporate/Investors/Results-presentations/2023/COMPASS_HY23%20FINAL.pdf.downloadasset.pdf . Accessed 20 Sept. 2023.