Vancouver Canucks concession staff's contract terminated

Nearly 1,000 people who serve food and beverages at Vancouver Canucks hockey games and during other events at Rogers Arena will be out of work in a few months.

Rogers Arena food and beverage servers jobs will be terminated come July 1

Hundreds of workers are having their contracts terminated early 2:18

Nearly 1,000 people who serve food and beverages at Vancouver Canucks hockey games and other events at Rogers Arena will be out of work in a few months.

Concession and food service employees arriving at work Monday were given notices telling them that their employer Aramark's contract at the arena, which was supposed to last into 2015, had been terminated early.

Canucks Sports & Entertainment, the same group that owns and operates the Vancouver Canucks hockey team, has had a contract with Aramark since the arena opened 18 years ago.

The arena's chief operating officer Victor deBonis said "big changes" in the arena's food and drink services are going to be unveiled July 1, and they plan to run the concession themselves, including hiring 1,000 new workers.

Staff who serve popcorn, hot dogs, beer other food and beverages at Rogers Arena learned Monday that they will be out of work in a few months. (CBC)

"Everyone will have a fair opportunity to apply and we will soon announce plans for a job fair and other opportunities as they become available,” de Bonis said in a written statement.

"Aramark has been our provider since we opened our arena in 1995 and we thank them for their years of service," he said.

David Freireich, a spokesman for Aramark, said the company is disputing the early contract termination, but decided it was important to let the affected employees know about the notice of contract termination it received.

Employees of Aramark who spoke with CBC News said they currently earn between $13 and $18 an hour and are concerned the new jobs that being created will be lower-paying.

Canucks Sports & Entertainment says it plans to hire its own employees to run the concessions and restaurants starting July 1. (CBC)

Canucks Sports & Entertainment has not said what range of wages it will be offering.

A notice posted on the University of British Columbia's calendar of public events says that Canucks Sports & Entertainment is holding a job fair on campus today, though it does not say whether the positions it is trying to fill involve food and beverage services, or just other arena positions.

With files from the CBC's Richard Zussman

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