The Kansas City Royals and Service Employees International Union Local 1 have reached an agreement that grants new “longevity raises” to workers in the stadium services unit.
About one-third of the 30 skilled laborers in the unit got a pay raise from $12.73 an hour to $14.75 as of last Friday and will make $15.19 an hour next year. Unit members need to have nine years of seasonal employment to reach the longevity level.
“Our folks stick around,” said Lindsey Walker, city director for the union local. “It shows that the Royals are incredible employers. They’re really great to work with.”
The stadium services unit includes workers who operate machinery such as power washers and other equipment used to prep the stadium before games and do some maintenance. Some of the jobs are for as long as 10 months a season, Walker said.
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Walker said the new contract, which expires in 2019, is notable given the national union’s continuing campaign to raise minimum wages to $15 an hour.
SEIU represents about 800 workers in all at Kauffman Stadium. It negotiates directly with the Royals on separate contracts for the stadium services unit, for an event staffing unit (covering ticket takers, parkers, ushers and restroom monitors), for a unit representing the post-event cleanup crew and for a unit representing the grounds and tarp crews.
SEIU negotiates separately with Aramark, which has the stadium’s concession contract. That food service contract expires in December, said Aramark spokesman David Freireich.