The union for more than 400 laid-off Honda Center employees announced Tuesday that it is suing Anaheim Arena Management for not offering to rehire them, alleging that stadium management violated a new state law on worker retention.
(Click here to read the workers’ lawsuit)
The food service employees were laid off at the end of June after management for the city-owned arena decided not to renew its contract with their concession operator, Aramark Corp., in order to bring the service in-house.
Anaheim Arena Management has said that its decision to manage its own concessions will increase its flexibility and improve service for customers. However, the union, Unite Here Local 11, says the move is unfair to the workers, many of whom have worked at the arena for over a decade.
Since the layoff, the company has hired hundreds of replacement workers, but only some are former Aramark employees.
The lawsuit alleges that by failing to offer the Aramark employees the opportunity to keep their jobs, Arena Management violated a new state law, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in late June, that requires public arenas like the Honda Center to retain laid-off workers for an additional 60 days and offer them jobs if their work is satisfactory.
The lawsuit follows calls on the Anaheim City Council by both the union and former arena employees to support their rehiring. The City Council has authority over the arena’s contract.
Because the arena falls within the city’s enterprise zone, the Honda Center would have also qualified for a job creation tax credit, a benefit which Anaheim Arena Management has said it never planned to seek.
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Correction: Due to an editing error, this story incorrectly stated that the union maintains that the layoff was done simply so the company could hire cheaper workers. The union generally maintains that the move is unfair but is not attaching motives to it.