United Center concessions workers ratify new contract with Levy

An agreement between the workers’ union and Levy includes a new system of providing health insurance, as well as employer contributions to the union’s pension plan.
United Center
98% of concessions workers represented by Unite Here Local One at the United Center voted in favor of the agreement. / Photo by Reyna Estrada.

Concessions staff at the United Center in Chicago recently voted in favor of a new contract with Levy, which manages foodservice at the arena.

On March 19, 98% of the United Center’s concessions workers represented by Unite Here Local One voted to ratify the new contract, garnering significant improvements in wages and benefits, according to a statement from the union.

Concessions staff at the arena, which is home to the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks sports teams, took part in a one-day strike on March 5, and on March 12 reached a tentative agreement with Levy.

That agreement, which came after more than 20 bargaining sessions dating back to September 2021, includes a new system of providing health insurance that will cover hundreds of additional workers year-round, according to the statement. Compass/Levy will also contribute $0.50 per hour to the union’s pension plan.

“To have health insurance through my employer means that I will now be able to go to the doctor and get the medical care needed without having to spend $400 a month out of pocket for private insurance.” said Jamie O’Neill, stand manager at the United Center, in the statement. “Having a pension plan also means that me and the workers who come after me will be able to retire with dignity and respect.”

The agreement also includes immediate wage increases of up to $4.50 an hour and up to $6.60 per hour by January 2025, as well as paid parental leave and the addition of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Juneteenth as paid holidays.

“Today is a historic day for Compass/Levy workers at the United Center. Our members, the fans, and the people of Chicago are celebrating with the workers. Their deep commitment to their principles, to one another, and to their union, inspires all of us. They have changed stadium jobs and the lives of stadium workers in the city forever. These workers will now earn wages where they can support a family, retire with dignity and have good quality health insurance,” said Karen Kent, president of Unite Here Local One.

Levy asserted in a March 5 statement that union leadership had been “withholding a vote” because the company would not agree to its Card Check Neutrality Proposal or its Hotel Health Fund.

“We reached an agreement with Unite Here Local One that benefited our team members, which was our goal from the onset. And we were able to do so without agreeing to participation in the Union's Hotel Health Fund and taking its Card Check Neutrality proposal off the table,” said a Levy spokesperson. 

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to include a comment from Levy. 



More from our partners