News Briefs

Kauffman Stadium, KC Convention Center concessions contractor laying off 577 workers

By: - October 20, 2020 10:16 am

A tarp covers the infield at Kauffman Stadium during a rain delay between the Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals on Sept. 27, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

Aramark, the contractor who operates concessions and catering services at Kauffman Stadium and the Kansas City Convention Center, is laying off 577 employees because there is not enough business at either venue.

In mass-layoff notices dated Friday to the Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development, Aramark reported it is also reducing the work hours of 61 employees and terminating three workers, including the executive chef at the convention center. Of the laid-off employees, 523 work at Kauffman Stadium, home of the Kansas City Royals, and 54 work at the convention center.

“Aramark has experienced unprecedented disruption to our business caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic,” Jose Aragon of the Service Employees International Union Local 1 stated in the notice for Kauffman. “Kauffman Stadium just informed us that it does not anticipate business improving in full for an undefined period of time and will only need our services in a limited capacity, if at all, during this time-period.”

In the notice for the convention center, Charles Onwuche of the union wrote that the center “just informed us that it does not anticipate business improving in full for an undefined period of time and will only need our services in a limited capacity, if at all, during this time-period.”

Aramark has provided concession services at Kauffman Stadium since 2007 and is one of two contractors at adjacent Arrowhead Stadium, home of the Kansas City Chiefs.

The layoffs come as Missouri is experiencing good and bad news on jobs. Missouri’s unemployment rate fell to 4.9 percent in September from 7 percent in August as the state added 13,000 jobs. The number of unemployed declined 68,000 in September “due in part to the unemployed workers exhausting their Unemployment Insurance benefits and leaving the labor market,” the state reported in a news release last week.

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Rudi Keller
Rudi Keller

Rudi Keller covers the state budget, energy and the legislature. He’s spent 22 of his 30 years in journalism covering Missouri government and politics, most recently as the news editor of the Columbia Daily Tribune. Keller has won awards for spot news and investigative reporting.

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