Temp workers at Target Field call for higher pay, fair scheduling

Sondra Jones, a temp worker at Target Field, speaks at the rally Wednesday. Credit: Photo courtesy of Neighborhoods Organizing for Change

Temporary workers at Target Field have joined the chorus of other low-wage, hourly workers in the city calling for higher pay and more predictable schedules.

Several workers and advocates rallied outside of the ballpark on Wednesday and 136 workers have signed a petition calling for better working conditions, according to Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC). The workers, predominately black, are employed through temp agencies who are hired by the ballbark’s concessionaire Delaware North.

The vendor and the Twins have since agreed to meet with the workers to discuss their concerns, according to NOC.

Sondra Jones, a temp worker who has worked at Target Field the past two summers, said the lack of notice about schedules makes it difficult to plan ahead.

“Once I received a text message telling me to come into work later that day,” she said in a statement prepared by NOC. “I had planned to babysit for my sister, but I needed to go into work. Since my sister didn’t have childcare that day, she lost her job. We need enough notice of our schedule to plan our lives.”

Anthony Newby, executive director of NOC, said the state has a “two-tiered economy,” noting the 15.9 percent unemployment rate for black Minnesotans.

“Some people in this city have access to steady jobs with good pay, and some don’t,” he said. “Even inside this stadium, people doing the same job have different standards for scheduling and pay for doing the exact same job. Workers need the same protections everywhere in Minneapolis.”

Glen White, manager of corporate communications for Delaware North, said Minnesota Sportservice has a “strong reputation as an employer at Target Field.”

“At times Sportservice has been unable to find enough hourly employees to staff games and therefore has contracted with temporary employment agencies,” he said. “We are aware of the concerns regarding the temporary workers assigned to Target Field and will review those with the temporary agencies.”

The City Council is scheduled to vote on a Working Families Agenda it has been collaborating with the mayor’s office on by the end of the year. It includes ordinance proposals that call for fair scheduling practices and earned sick time for employees.  

City Council Members Elizabeth Glidden (Ward 8), John Quincy (Ward 11) and Linea Palmisano (Ward 13) are holding a community forum Wednesday, Sept. 30, 6:30 p.m., on the Working Families Agenda at Mayflower Church, 106 E. Diamond Lake Rd.