Tuesday, April 7, 2009

SF Giants Opening 2009 -

Giants fans arriving on Opening Day for the match against the Milwaukee Brewers - see previous blogs - braved the rain and the uncertainty of the game going ahead as they set out early this morning.

Disembarking from Caltrain, the roads were still wet for this group pictured below. But the scene, when they arrived at the Willie Mays Plaza was business as usual, except for the protest they had to pass.

A small, orderly but vocal demonstration of AT & T workers were circling with placards and chanting, and handing out orange info sheets headlined 'You are out!'

AT & T sponsor the Giants' ballpark at China Basin which is known as the AT & T Park. The protestors say that while the corporation made $12.9 billion in profits last year it is 'on the brink of a strike with its employees, insisting that it needs huge concessions from its workforce.'

Issues of executive pay and

shareholder dividends are part of the argument. Top executives, they say, were paid $33.5 million last year, and investors $9.8 billion in dividends, aside from money spent on campaigns, lobbying and gifts.

It is 'at the bargaining table with over 100,000 employees in 22 states - including about 25,000 right here in California. Can AT & T afford to provide decent, middle class jobs to its employees?...Yes, AT & T can,' say the workers.

On the other side of the Willie Mays Plaza at the rows of ticket windows people were queuing to collect pre-ordered tickets or standing in the hope of picking up some of the very few remaining tickets that were coming in slowly as returns.

With the clock ticking at 12.30 pm, one ticket seller said she thought all the tickets had gone, but she would check again.

'Two have just come in,' she said, 'they're $135 and $71 dollars.' The last-minute purchaser took the cheaper that came with good views at Club Level. Passing through the gates, the ticket collector said the capacity of the park at ballgames was 40,100 - and the house was almost full!

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