It’s not our place to tell private sector businesses how to operate during a crisis. We’re in a shit situation here, and if companies need to lay off workers or cut costs or implement furloughs, then so be it. That’s their prerogative.
The thing with Aramark, which employs food service workers down at The Wells Fargo Center and other Philadelphia arenas, is that they haven’t returned any emails or phone calls since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Compare that to Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment and Comcast-Spectacor, who not only have responded to media inquiries but agreed to pay the folks who work Sixers, Flyers, and Wings games in South Philly. The decision to help those hourly workers during a difficult time was met with wide praise from the local sports community.
For the time being, ticket takers, ushers, security guards, and part-time game night Sixers staffers will receive money while the arena is shut down, but the folks who deliver food to your seat or make the concourse cheesesteaks are shit out of luck. That resulted last week in Unite Here Local 274, the union representing those workers, sharing a letter from city council addressed to executives with the Sixers, Eagles, Flyers, and Phillies, asking them if they can “work cooperatively” with Aramark to help these people out.
I’ve tried emailing and calling Aramark over the course of 14 days now and haven’t heard anything back. The extent of their Coronavirus PR strategy appears to be a couple of website links, one that brings you to a resource page for associates with a blurb reading this way: