Hundreds of Honda Center Employees Get Layoff Notices

Honda Center Petitioning (p)

An Anaheim Ducks fan (left) prepares to sign a petition demanding that Honda Center management meet with food workers about the fate of their jobs. (Photo by: Nick Gerda / Voice of OC)

More than 400 service workers at the city-owned Honda Center in Anaheim have received official notice that they’ll be laid off on June 30, their union announced Wednesday.

The step comes amid protests by workers and unions that the arena’s private management company is planning a mass layoff in order to hire lower-wage workers.

The layoff plans are now official.

In an April 30 letter to workers, food conglomerate Aramark wrote that it will “permanently terminate the employment of its employees assigned to the Honda Center.” The notice states it was sent as a requirement of federal and state law.

Aramark and Anaheim Arena Management have so far declined to reveal what will happen to the workers when AAM takes over operations at the end of June, leading many workers to fear the worst.

“They’ve just stonewalled us. They sent this letter because they have to to comply with federal law,” said Hal Weiss, a spokesman for the workers’ union, United Here Local 11.

Anaheim Arena Management didn’t return a phone message Wednesday seeking comment.

Its CEO, Tim Ryan, has previously said the change of food service operations in general is “an exciting step” that will give his company “increased flexibility and discretion with regard to food quality, employee training and menu offerings.”

Messages to Aramark, which describes one of its core values as “treating employees fairly, honestly and with respect,” were also not returned.

Weiss said many of the food service employees plan to attend  Thursday’s meeting of the Anaheim citizens advisory committee, given that their requests to the City Council for a worker protection ordinance have “fallen on deaf ears.”

The meeting is expected to be contentious, with the committee scheduled to formally recommend that voters decide on a district election system.

The labor dispute has also highlighted financial arrangements surrounding the city-owned Honda Center.

While the arena has raked in more than $230 million in revenue since 2002, it’s unclear how much of that cash the city actually receives.

The city doesn’t receive any revenue directly from its lease to Anaheim Arena Management, and the city has declined to state how much sales tax revenue Honda Center generates.

You can reach Nick Gerda at, and follow him on Twitter: @nicholasgerda.

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