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A concession workers strike is looming at the United Center ahead of the Big Ten Tournament


CHICAGO — United Center concession workers may soon be on picket line again.

The two sides met Tuesday night but couldn’t come to an agreement — which could mean concessions for this week’s Big Ten tournament could be affected.

On Sunday, Unite HERE Local 1 picketed outside the United Center during the Chicago Bulls vs. Indiana Pacers game. The union represents more than 650 employees at the arena — including cooks, servers and bartenders. They work at Levy Restaurants.

The parties have met more than 20 times. Levy said he continues to refine his proposal and blamed union leadership for not putting it to a vote by members.

The two sides are still trying to work out an agreement on wages, health insurance and pensions.

The union said it wants the same benefits Levy employees receive at Wrigley Field, Guaranteed Rate Field and Navy Pier. The company said it offers ways to insure United Center employees year-round. It says it proposes to reduce the number of hours required to qualify for year-round health insurance.

The Big Ten tournament kicks off Wednesday night at the United Center and runs through Sunday.

Levy said if workers strike during the tournament, they will continue to have limited food and beverage service and will focus only on fan favorites.

The two sides meet again on Saturday.


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