Sports News Without Access, Favor, Or Discretion

Our old pal Dave Zirin, who's over at now, has been keeping an eye on some of Orioles owner Peter Angelos' labor practices over there in Ballmer. And whatever your politics are, it's pretty difficult not to be disgusted.

The people who clean up Camden Yards after games, and keep it one of the most gorgeous, most profitable stadiums in baseball are barely making a living wage.

The UWA, a human rights group founded by homeless day laborers in Baltimore, represents 800 low-wage workers who make up the pool of the 100-120 people who keep Camden Yards clean. Stadium workers—the people who clean out the bathroom stalls, sweep up the small mountains of cigarette butts and make the Camden Yards experience as pristine as promised—make poverty wages, just $7 an hour.

Because they are doing "day labor," members of the UWA who show up to work are sent home if they're not needed. The wages are so low, and the job so "flexible," that some workers live in homeless shelters. One worker was kicked out of public housing because her pay that month couldn't match the monthly rent. ... The UWA claims that in 2004 Angelos promised to make up the difference in a living wage out of his own deep pockets. It's a promise he has failed to keep.


By the way, Kris Benson is making nearly $8 million for the Orioles this season.

Cleaning Up After The Orioles [The Nation]

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