Honda Center Workers Will Bring Contract Concerns to Anaheim City Council Tonight

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The Anaheim Ducks have been back on the ice since the NHL lockout ended earlier this year. The Honda Center, where they play their home games, still harbors worries about the future employment of other workers. Meanwhile, those who run the arena's concession stands are on the edge of an expiring contract and don't know if they will be back next season.

"I need this job," Anaheim resident Jeanette Lister says in a UNITE HERE Local 11 press release. "But the Honda Center also needs me. This is a fast moving job, but I know how to keep my stand running efficiently."

She and her fellow coworkers will be taking concerns about the future status of their employment to the Anaheim City Council meeting this evening.

The current contract concession workers have with Aramark is set to expire on July 1, 2013. Anaheim Arena Management (AAM), who operates the venue and is owned by the same man that owns the Ducks, is set to take over and has since declined multiple requests to meet with UNITE HERE, the union representing the workers.

Ahead of speaking out during public comment, UNITE HERE has rallied supporters to sign an online petition warning that a labor dispute could disrupt the Ducks' remaining home games. "No one wants that to happen," the petition reads, "and as loyal fans, we'd be very disappointed if it did."

The city of Anaheim owns the Honda Center, which not only hosts the professional hockey team but stages arena concerts and other major events. It's a key property in the so-called Platinum Triangle, but any loss of employment, should there be no retention of current concession workers, would be a heavy economic blow to them.

"Elected officials should have power to say what happens to the workers in their building," says UNITE HERE Local 11 spokesman Hal Weiss. "They should have an interest in protecting jobs in Anaheim, especially given the fact that many of the workers come from the city." For now, all that is had is anxiety and speculation over an uncertain future. Will workers lose their jobs? Will the transition this summer mean those who might retain employment would see rolled back wages and benefits?

"At the very least, the council could urge Ducks owner Henry Samueli to meet with the union that represents the workers," Weiss adds.

We'll see what's quackin' at City Hall tonight!

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