Blog Entry

Orlando arena workers turn to non-profit for help

Posted on: November 3, 2011 12:44 pm
 
Posted by Royce Young



We've all heard or at least thought about the collateral damage done during the lockout. Downtown economies, restaraunts, bars and the thousands of arena employees that make game nights possible.

It's been easy to invoke those employees as a reason to settle the lockout, whether it's legit concern or not. Players have taken to Twitter to apologize to them about them missing paychecks, but you don't really see them doing much about it (Danny Granger excluded).

The blight of the arena worker has been something people talk about, a topic of this lockout. But how is it really affecting them? Like more than just saying, 'What about the arena workers!?!" how is the lockout hurting those that rely on that second (or primary) job for income to get by. Consider this story from the Orlando Sentinel:

In addition to some concerts and a few other events, about 1,000 people worked inside the arena on Orlando Magic game days and game nights. Those folks were employed as security guards, ushers, ticket-takers, vendors, cashiers, parking-lot attendants and waitresses and waiters. Some jobs paid minimum wage, but that income often supplemented the money people earned at their day jobs.

But the ongoing NBA lockout is taking its toll.

“These are the people that greet us with a smile,” said Pastor Scott George, who runs the Community Food & Outreach Center, a nonprofit that is offering help to game-night workers.

“They hand us our ticket. They hand us our hot dog and Coke. They clean up after we leave. And, now, they are the forgotten people that no one is talking about.”

George estimated that between 40 and 75 game-night workers have used the Community Food & Outreach Center’s services over the last few weeks. He said he’s unsure of the exact number because some game-night workers are afraid that if they say something, they might not be able to go back to their jobs when the lockout ends.

If there had been no work stoppage, the Magic would have played four preseason exhibitions at home in October and would have hosted their regular-season opener last night.

That’s five nights of work — and, now, five nights of lost wages.

You see that? This is real. This isn't just talk or PR tactic, make-you-feel-bad stuff. This is really happening. Arena workers in Orlando are going to an outreach center to get food for their families because they lost their jobs. ARE YOU KIDDING ME NBA?

Like I said, we all have heard the pleas to think of the poor little ticket taker man, but nobody really thinks about him. Nobody really considers what that person might be going through. Well, in Orlando, that poor little ticket taker man is having to go to an outreach center to get enough food to cover his losses. Because billionaire NBA owners and millionaire NBA players can't settle on how to split up some $4 billion in revenue, that arena employee has to live with the stress of not knowing where he/she is going to get food for their family.

Awesome job everyone involved. You should be real proud of this.
Comments

Since: Mar 30, 2010
Posted on: November 3, 2011 4:35 pm
 

How about full disclosure?

These are workers that have used the outreach center for the first time, ever? Really? Sorry, not buying it so quit selling it. And the bleeding hearts screaming that the rich should just be giving them money for doing nothing while the lockout goes on can stop too. Some of them put in the effort to find optional work, others didn't. Yes, I feel sorry for their minor financial loss, but let's not lose our heads here. A. we don't care if the NBA returns and B. See point A.



Since: Oct 22, 2007
Posted on: November 3, 2011 4:28 pm
 

Orlando arena workers turn to non-profit for help

I hate to sound like this, but this is why you strive to BE the athlete or BE the owner, or Own you own business or place yourself into a situation where you make your own breaks and others can not tell you when you work or what to do.  All of it comes down to hard work, education and effort.  The arena workers should know what they get into when they agree to work in a SEASONAL positon in an enviroment encompassed by a CBA.  This is no different than the Home Depot worker or the Circuit City worker. If you punch a clock, things can happen. You elected to work there, no one made you. And all employees are compensated fairly for work performed, and are only needed if there is work to be performed, this is no different than any other lay-off situation, except for the fact they they know, unlike most, that when the dust clears they still HAVE the place to work, unlike MANY....



Come on, though.....that's easy to type. A heck of a lot easier to type than to do, anyway.

Regardless of the lockout, the truth is the owners could probably pay all of these people out of their own pockets and not feel a thing. Perhaps funds should be set up in the future for situations like this. Or maybe they should take the difference in percentages in BRI between the owners and players and give it to these folks.

I don't know what the solution is, but there are things that can be done and, frankly, the situation these people have been put in by the greed of the owners and players is wrong and I was always taught that wrongs should be righted.

Just to be clear, I don't hate rich people....heck, I wish I was one of 'em. But I do think being rich - and, in the case of the owners and many players, we're talking obscenely rich here - comes with a responsibility, particularly to the little people who, by working their low-paying-no-benefits jobs, helped these guys get rich and are now really suffering while two groups of rich people bicker over hundreds of millions of dollars. Let's be honest - while these poeple are going to a soup kitchen, the owners are still dining at 5-star restaurants....on days their personal gourmet chefs are taking a day off. Players are travelling the world and staying in 5-star hotels while these folks are trying to figure out how to pay for their homes. How can anybody think this is okay and how it should be? Is this really the "progress" human civilization has strived for since standing up on two feet and walking out of the jungle?

People can call this communism or socialism if they want, but whatever you call it, is it really worse than seeing families suffer needlessly? As for the layoff situation you talk about, I think a lot of those are bogus as well. When you have a board of wealthy people voting themselves raises while laying off workers and overloading the workers who are left with even more work, that ain't right either. We might as well go back to living in the jungle.

Sorry.....got a little worked up there.



Since: Dec 10, 2006
Posted on: November 3, 2011 3:42 pm
 

Orlando arena workers turn to non-profit for help

Finally! A story about the real victims. The owners and players should have set up a fund for these guys and continued supporting them. It would be a drop in the bucket for the wealthy; a life saving gesture for the worker.

Arguing over one or two percent- it's disgusting!



Since: Sep 28, 2009
Posted on: November 3, 2011 3:22 pm
 

Orlando arena workers turn to non-profit for help

I hate to sound like this, but this is why you strive to BE the athlete or BE the owner, or Own you own business or place yourself into a situation where you make your own breaks and others can not tell you when you work or what to do.  All of it comes down to hard work, education and effort.  The arena workers should know what they get into when they agree to work in a SEASONAL positon in an enviroment encompassed by a CBA.  This is no different than the Home Depot worker or the Circuit City worker. If you punch a clock, things can happen. You elected to work there, no one made you. And all employees are compensated fairly for work performed, and are only needed if there is work to be performed, this is no different than any other lay-off situation, except for the fact they they know, unlike most, that when the dust clears they still HAVE the place to work, unlike MANY....



Since: Oct 22, 2007
Posted on: November 3, 2011 2:18 pm
 

Orlando arena workers turn to non-profit for help

Arena employees work for arenas that host franchises worth hundreds of millions of dollars. In many cases, the franchises own the arenas they play in. The NBA and its franchises should be taking care of these people. These people have nothing to do with these petty squabbles and are caught in the middle of a situation they had no hand in creating.


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