Labor unions prove to be the answer for South Florida workers
UNITE HERE Local 355, the labor union that represents food-service workers at the Marlins’ LoanDepot park, reached a tentative agreement with Levy Restaurants, a part of Compass Group USA. Through this agreement, food service workers will receive a minimum increase of nearly $10 per hour over 4 years.
This is a step towards raising South Florida and lifting Black and Latino workers out of poverty into strong middle-class jobs.
Currently, the median wage for hourly workers employed by Levy at the Marlins’ LoanDepot Stadium is $14.30 per hour. Through this tentative agreement, workers will receive an immediate raise to a guarantee of earning $20 an hour – and depending on their classification, they’ll earn wages up to $30.00 an hour by April 1, 2026.
Dorothina Hamilton was born and raised in Overtown, Miami and has worked as a cook, at Marlins stadium. She says, “I earn $15.30 an hour, but through this contract I won a $9.50 raise – I’ll be making $24.77 by 2026. This is a sigh of relief. Just last month my rent went up $500. I’ll use this raise to pay my rent and for my insulin medication.”
Last year, UNITE HERE Local 355 housekeepers and cooks won a $20 minimum wage through union contracts at the Fontainebleau and Diplomat hotels. Their decision to fight for a higher standard for their families made a $20 wage a reality for some hotel workers. That momentum has continued this year. The union will continue to organize and set a $20 wage standard so South Florida workers can stay afloat.
Wendi Walsh, Secretary-Treasurer of UNITE HERE Local 355 closed the press conference saying, “This is an incredible victory. Levy Restaurants has delivered substantial raises across the board. We will continue to organize and hold other companies, like LSG Sky Chefs at Miami International Airport accountable to raise the standard for all hospitality workers. The time to Raise South Florida is now.”