Fiserv Forum reaches ‘historic’ wage agreement for arena workers

Fiserv Forum has reached a tentative contract agreement with the Milwaukee Area Service and Hospitality Workers Organisation (MASH) for an historic $15 (£11.52/€13.62) per hour minimum wage for employees at the arena, which is the home of the Milwaukee Bucks NBA basketball team.

The Bucks said the agreement will make Fiserv Forum a “national model for all service and hospitality workers”. The agreement will see workers’ wages rise to $15 per hour in July.

Fiserv Forum opened in 2018 and the Bucks ownership group has previously pledged that the arena would have an impact on the local area that would “spread beyond basketball”.

The wage will be provided to arena workers employed by Deer District LLC and Levy. Wages will rise through a cost of living adjustment and longevity pay increase for the duration of the three-and-a-half-year agreement. MASH members will conduct a ratification vote this week.

Alex Lasry, senior vice-president at the Bucks, said: “From day one we’ve promised that Fiserv Forum and the Deer District would be bigger than basketball and would create living-wage and long-lasting jobs for the Milwaukee community.

“This partnership fulfils that promise and, more importantly, shows how much we value the hard work all those who have made Fiserv Forum one of the best places to work in Wisconsin and one of the top arenas in the country.”

MASH president Peter Rickman added: “Workers at Fiserv Forum secured an industry-leading, standard-setting union contract that raises wages by two-thirds from the previous non-union operation and ensures dignity, rights and respect for workers and their work.

“This contract demonstrates the power of unions to change the lives of working people and provides a concrete example of how service workers can transform the industry through collective action in a union.”

Image: Milwaukee Bucks