Restaurant Workers Strike for 2nd Day at San Francisco International Airport
Fast-food workers at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) are on strike. Restaurant workers will continue their strike on Tuesday as some flight attendants are also set to picket.
The strike includes a thousand workers at restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and lounges at SFO. The majority make $17.05 per hour and have not seen a raise in three years.
The Unite Here Local 2 union said in a press release that travelers should plan to bring their own food, as workers are on strike at virtually every food and beverage outlet within the airport.
Workers have compared their wages to the price of popular menu items in viral social media videos, emphasizing that hourly pay is often less than the price of a single meal at SFO. They are calling on travelers to boycott the airport’s food and beverage outlets.
“Nobody can pay their bills or feed their kids on $17 an hour,” said Anand Singh, President of UNITE HERE Local 2. “Working at SFO used to mean you had a good job, but most of the airport’s fast-food workers haven’t seen a raise in three years. The hamburger or burrito an airport worker serves often costs more than what she makes in an entire hour. Nine months of negotiations got us nowhere, and SFO’s food service workers are tired of working two or even three jobs just to survive.”
The open-ended strike includes cashiers, baristas, cooks, dishwashers, bartenders, servers, and lounge attendants with 30 different employers at 84 food and beverage outlets throughout the airport. The employers are bargaining as a collective.
Airport food service workers voted by 99.7 percent to authorize the strike through a vote held in August.
The union members have also held ongoing demonstrations since Friday, September 16, including a traffic interruption that resulted in a mass police citation.
The San Francisco International Airport also advised travelers that “a labor action by airport food workers is impacting staffing restaurants and lounges”.
“Some food and beverage outlets are closed, while others remain open with limited hours and offerings. Staffing at newsstands is not currently affected, and these outlets will continue to offer grab-and-go food and beverages. Full-service meal availability may be limited. SFO apologizes for any inconvenience this causes. SFO will provide updates on the status of airport restaurants at flySFO.com and social media channels.”