Arbitrator Rules in Favor of UFCW Local 1445 and Blocks TD Garden's Shot to Overstaff Novelty Stands at Concerts

April 25, 2024

On April 24, 2024, a neutral arbitrator sustained a grievance filed by UFCW, Local 1445 alleging that Delaware North improperly overstaffed novelty stands at the TD Garden, potentially depriving concessionaires of earnings opportunities. Pyle Rome attorney Al Gordon O'Connell represented the UFCW in the case.

The contract between Local 1445 and Delaware North allows employees to bid by seniority into the so-called "Gatemen" positions, requiring them to take on the low-paid task of selling programs at sporting events in exchange for the right to staff two lucrative novelty stands at concerts. Despite language in the CBA limiting staffing to two gatemen at each of the two stands, the Company decided to staff those locations with three or sometimes four sellers, which may increase the overall profits for the Company but potentially reduces the earnings opportunities for the gatemen, who are paid solely on commission.

In the face of the clear contract language and many years of consistent practice, the arbitrator ignored the Company's claim that the employees could make more money under the overstaffing scheme. The arbitrator ordered the parties to negotiate over the remedy but retained jurisdiction to resolve the matter should the parties be unable to agree.

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