September 28, 2011
We've gone on at length, since July, about the financial impact an extended NBA lockout will have on thousands of North American workers that rely on an 82-game season to put food on the table. Workers that need those 41 home games to help chalk up the hours, and earnings. Men and women that have nothing to do with a terrible application of a mid-level exemption by owners, or player that burned through his rookie contract in just a few months.
What we forget, when we mock the half-canceled NBA preseason, is the sheer amount of workers that will be hurting due to a delayed series of games that nobody really cares about. Yes, the preseason counts.
Watch this video:
"It's going to devastate these workers," said Mike Garcia, president of the SEIU-United Service Workers West union, with nearly 1,000 members working at the three NBA arenas in California: Staples Center, Oracle Arena in Oakland and Power Balance Pavilion in Sacramento. "They have become very dependent on these jobs," he said. The workers include janitors, ushers and ticket-takers who earn about $11 an hour on average.
An additional 700 food-service workers at Staples Center would be idled if Lakers and Clippers games were scrapped, said Tom Walsh, president of Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Local 11, the workers' union.
Multiply that by the 28 other arenas NBA teams use, and that doesn't even begin to estimate the impact an extended lockout will have.
Meanwhile, the NBA's players may have dissuaded the NBA from insisting on a hard salary cap. Good … job?