A surprise one-day strike by courtroom clerks and support personnel today has postponed at least one jury trial and closed most of the courtrooms in San Francisco. About 200 members of the Service Employees International Union Local 1021, which works in three city courthouses, went on strike in response to a contract-negotiation process in which they feel unfairly uninformed. They're demanding that the state oversight office on courts turn over financial records that will help them know where they stand as they negotiate a new contract for union members.

"We've been forced to do this," one worker told the Chron, saying that his job dealing with the public who arrive after receiving court summonses is vital and under-appreciated.

The three city courthouses were determining today whether any courtrooms could reopen with limited staff. The strike stems from a demand for contract concessions by the Administrative Office of the Courts, which the service-employees union says they are not willing to negotiate until they better understand the finances of the courts. They intend to be back at work tomorrow.