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Union President releases statement, but doesn’t address concern over hourly employees

Philadelphia Union considering options for relief to hourly employees but no announcement has been made

Philadelphia Union President Tim McDermott issued a letter to fans on Saturday regarding the suspension of the MLS season over coronavirus COVID-19 concerns.

This week it was announced that Major League Soccer and its teams have made the decision to suspend the 2020 season for 30 days. We will announce additional information as it becomes available, so for now I just want to say how appreciative the entire Philadelphia Union organization is for the continued support and understanding of our incredible fans.

Our players, coaches, and staff were all looking forward to opening Subaru Park this weekend in front of the best crowd in MLS, and while we were eagerly anticipating that moment, we understand and support Major League Soccer’s decision to suspend the season for 30 days. The safety of our fans and everybody in our organization is at the front of our minds. I am incredibly proud of our staff and the MLS for their tireless, swift work in adapting to an unprecedented situation and the leadership that they have exemplified.

Philadelphia Union fans are unlike any other in the world and through good times and bad, our fans always show what Philly is all about; perseverance, pride, and the belief that we are all stronger when we work for and support each other. Thank you for your understanding and continued support, and as an organization we send our best wishes to everyone in the Philadelphia community and beyond that is working to get through this difficult moment.

While he did say more information would be forthcoming, McDermott did not address the concern over hourly employees who will not be able to work or get paid since Saturday’s home opener against San Jose Earthquakes and next Sunday’s game against D.C. United at Subaru Park have been postponed. A Philadelphia Union II game scheduled for April 3 at Subaru Park has also been postponed.

The Union released the following statement to The Athletic reporter Pablo Maurer:

“Our gameday staff play a significant role in defining the guest experience at Subaru Park. We are in communication with the league office and other MLS teams on this topic, among others, and are evaluating scenarios. At the moment, two home games have been postponed, but we do expect those games to be rescheduled.”

Some teams in MLS have already responded to the concerns with action.

The Colorado Rapids ownership group announced on Saturday a decision to pay part-time and hourly employees during the suspension of league play. Orlando City and Atlanta United have also announced that they will be providing financial assistance and Columbus Crew is among the other teams considering it.