Fenway bartender seeks Sox support on tips
A Fenway Park bartender is urging Red Sox players to support a lawsuit filed on behalf of ballpark food-service workers who allege that Fenway's concessionaire, Aramark Corp., pockets some of the tips and service charges meant entirely for the workers.
The bartender, Michael L. Hayes, said in a letter faxed to the team's administrative offices yesterday that he was inspired to write to them by last month's protest by Red Sox players, who threatened to boycott a road trip to Japan if coaches and staff did not receive $40,000 appearance fees for the trip; the matter was ultimately settled, and the Red Sox went on to Tokyo.
As of this afternoon, the Sox had not responded to Hayes's letter, his lawyer said. Attempts by the Globe to seek comment from the Red Sox were not immediately successful.
Hayes is a plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit filed against Aramark and the Red Sox in February in Suffolk Superior Court.
Aramark of Philadelphia said it does not comment on pending litigation, a spokeswoman said.
A copy of the letter that Hayes sent to the Red Sox was provided to the Globe by Hayes's lawyer, Shannon Liss-Riordan of the Boston law firm Pyle, Rome, Lichten, Ehrenberg & Liss-Riordan, P.C.
In the letter, Hayes wrote that he is seeking public support for the food workers' lawsuit and the intervention of the Red Sox players, staff, ownership, and fans.
Hayes wrote, "I hope that the Red Sox respond as quickly and decisively to this issue, on behalf of food service workers who love working near our championship team at Fenway Park, as they did for their hard-working and deserving coaches."
"We're hoping that the Red Sox will make this right," Liss-Riordan added during a phone interview.
Through Liss-Riordan, Hayes declined a request to be interviewed.
"He only wants to speak through his letter and through me," she wrote in an e-mail.
Liss-Riordan's firm has filed similar suits in the past, including a recent suit on behalf of a Somerville barista who alleges that the coffee giant Starbucks Corp. wrongly required him to share tips with shift supervisors.
The firm won substantial jury awards from Hilltop Steak House in Saugus and the Federalist restaurant in Boston; the firm also negotiated a settlement with the New England Patriots and Gillette Stadium.
The New York Times Co., the corporate parent of The Boston Globe, owns a 17 percent stake in the Red Sox.
(By Chris Reidy, Globe staff)