UNITE HERE Local 11 rates Los Angeles venues under consideration for the FIFA World Cup
Today, UNITE HERE Local 11, the union of hospitality workers in Southern California, released a scorecard rating labor standards for employees at major soccer arenas in Los Angeles. This scorecard comes in advance of the Federation Internationale de Football Association’s (“FIFA”) planned June 16, 2022 announcement of the cities and stadiums it has selected for the 2026 World Cup.
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(Graphic: Business Wire)
Local 11 assessed each stadium in light of eight key labor standards criteria for employees in concessions and premium areas at arenas within Los Angeles: health and safety, employment security, employee benefits, protection against wage theft, diversity outreach, protection against unfair discipline, employee voice, and protections for immigrant workers. For each criterion, an arena was given 1 point if, based on the information available, the employer had in place an enforceable agreement with worker representatives.
SoFi Stadium, a potential World Cup venue, received 8 out of 8 points and an “A” rating, the highest possible score. There, unionized employees enjoy enforceable commitments to health and safety training, affordable healthcare, access to low-cost legal services and job training, protection against arbitrary termination and wage theft, and unfettered access to union representatives.
By contrast, the Rose Bowl, a nonunion venue also under consideration by FIFA, received 0 out of 8 points and an “F” grade. The Rose Bowl uses unpaid volunteers to help run its concessions stands, performing work that, at other stadiums in the area, would be performed by paid workers earning family-sustaining incomes. Volunteers and the workers employed by Levy Restaurants—the concessions operator at the Rose Bowl—also lack access to the same affordable healthcare plan, job security rights, protections for immigrant workers, safety mechanisms, non-discrimination commitments, and support for training for underrepresented communities that other stadium workers enjoy through collective bargaining agreements. Additionally, Rose Bowl workers employed by Levy lack access to union representation at the worksite or critical protections to enable them to freely organize.
FIFA has thus far failed to commit to selecting venues that guarantee the right of workers to freely organize and provide prevailing employment standards. Earlier this year, Local 11 filed a complaint alleging that FIFA has failed to undertake “human rights due diligence” in its selection of venues in Los Angeles for the 2026 World Cup. The union filed its complaint in Switzerland, home of FIFA, with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”), an international body that has established human rights and business conduct standards for multinational corporations.
“As FIFA finalizes its selections for the 2026 World Cup, it must heed the calls of workers and select venues that uphold prevailing standards and protect labor rights,” says Local 11 Co-President Kurt Petersen. “We urge FIFA to live up to its human rights responsibilities and insist upon a World Cup where workers are treated with dignity and fairness.”
UNITE HERE Local 11 is a labor union representing over 32,000 hospitality workers in Southern California and Arizona who work in hotels, restaurants, universities, convention centers, and airports.
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