Sep 20, 2022 - News

SFO faces imminent food workers strike

Police talk with protestors at SFO
Police talk with protesters at SFO. Photo: courtesy of Unite Here Local 2

Forty-one protesters — including Supervisors Connie Chan and Gordon Mar — were arrested Friday for blocking traffic outside San Francisco International Airport's Terminal 3 to show support for food workers demanding higher pay.

Driving the news: More than 1,000 food and beverage workers at SFO, who are part of the Unite Here Local 2 union, say they haven't received a wage increase for three years.

  • Their average pay is $17.05 per hour, and after nine months of negotiations with restaurant operators, union spokesperson Ted Waechter told Axios, "workers are tired of trying to make ends meet."

Details: The group of protesters arrested Friday also included District 6 supervisor candidate Honey Mahogany, San Jose's Assemblymember Ash Kalra and San Mateo County's state Sen. Josh Becker.

  • They were cited and released without being taken to jail, Waechter confirmed.

What they're saying: "Very proud to stand, sit, chant, and engage in civil disobedience," Mahogany said on Twitter. "We've got that union power!"

What's next: An official strike hasn't started yet, but Waechter said it "could begin any day now."

  • If it does, the strike would include around 1,000 workers from 84 food and beverage establishments throughout the airport, "including restaurants and coffee shops as well as exclusive lounges like the United Club," he said.
  • As for timing, Waechter said: "We'll let the bosses [and the public] know of the strike the morning it begins."
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