Thursday, September 6, 2007

Yet Another Black Eye For The Orioles -- The Maryland Stadium Authority Worker Debate...

It seems all that the news that have been mentioned recently about the Orioles in the media has been bad.

The losing, the horrific play, the Buchholz no-hitter, the 30-3 game; therefore, this post keeps up in the tradition of bearing the bad news about the Baltimore organization.

This week, there have been a series of articles in the media about the Maryland Stadium Authority and those who clean up both M&T Bank along with Oriole Park at Camden Yards once the fans have left.

Here's the skinny on the situation:

"The UWA, a human rights group founded by homeless day laborers in Baltimore, represents 800 low-wage workers who make up the pool of the 100-120 people who keep Camden Yards clean. Stadium workers--the people who clean out the bathroom stalls, sweep up the small mountains of cigarette butts and make the Camden Yards experience as pristine as promised--make poverty wages, just $7 an hour.

Work schedules for stadium workers can vary as well. Some workweeks can be well over forty hours; in other weeks, if the Orioles are on the road, the laborers don't work at all. Take-home pay varies accordingly, depending on the number of home games in a week and how long the games last. The windfall earned from a game that goes into extra innings can make a real difference in the way a family eats in a given week."

Whatever your politics are, or if you are pro-business or not, it is pretty galling that a multi-million dollar entity such as the Baltimore Orioles who play in a park paid for with public funds could not pay the workers who clean the stadiums a living wage even if it is the responsibility of a state run service.

New Flash: $7 an hour gets YOU NOWHERE in this country.

Considering that mandated pay wage for those who work in Baltimore is a minimum of $9.62 an hour and the state of Maryland in the next few weeks will require employers to pay workers $11.30 an hour, it's quite jarring what the those who clean the stadiums are being paid hourly.

However, because they are considered "temporary/seasonal" help, the workers are exempt from both city and state laws.

Sorry, I know some industries have been able to become wealthy off the backs of the poor, vulnerable and disenfranchised, but a state run entity has no business being cheap with their employees.

Especially, when the athletes on the field can make millions of dollars per year for sucking.

Get real.

However, this quote made my eyes open:

"It's interesting that the UWA will win or lose without a lick of help from Orioles owner Peter Angelos. The UWA claims that in 2004 Angelos promised to make up the difference in a living wage out of his own deep pockets. It's a promise he has failed to keep. Angelos loves to tout his credentials as a union-supporting, lifelong Democrat. He made his fortune as an attorney representing trade unions in class-action suits against the ill effects of asbestos. He further burnished his credentials as the "worker boss" when he was the only owner to publicly support the players' union in the 1994 strike.

But since 2004 he's done little for the people scraping the crud off his stadium. The Baltimore Orioles, once one of baseball's proudest franchises, has withered under his watch. What makes Marylanders smile about Angelos these days is the rumor that he is considering selling the team to a group led by Orioles icon Cal Ripken Jr. A victory for the UWA would be a victory for all Baltimore workers--and a nice slap back at Angelos, who apparently won't unload the team soon enough for either the workers of the UWA or the residents of Charm City."

From the Nation Online...

I'll keep this short, but if Angelos did agree to do this, and he either conveniently forgot or could not keep his word, he deserves all the hatred he gets. For all that he's done, purporting himself as helping out the "little man", he's now proved himself your greedy typical tycoon and it's pathetic.

I'll ask, does Peter Angelos even give a s**t about the way he's perceived?

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