Effective today, you’ll see bartenders, cashiers, cooks, and servers picketing outside the airport, and SFO’s food workers are now on strike. But you can still fly without crossing the picket line, as the union says “Get your coffee beforehand and bring your own food.”
It certainly stirred up some attention in mid-September when 41 people were arrested outsde SFO in a food workers’ rally, with some of the notable arrestees including Supervisors Connie Chan and Gordon Mar, and D6 supervisor candidate Honey Mahogany. But it apparently did not stir up enough attention for the SFO Airport Restaurant Employer Council that operates the 84 restaurants inside SFO to make any wage or health care concessions.
And so as of 6 a.m. Monday morning, SFO airport food workers are officially on strike, according to the Chronicle.
⚡️ BREAKING ⚡️— UNITE HERE Local 2 (@UniteHereLocal2) September 26, 2022
1,000 fast-food workers at San Francisco International Airport are on strike.
Most of us haven't had a raise in three years, and we're tired of working two or even three jobs just to survive. So we're fighting back.
#1u #AirportStrikeAlert #unitehere pic.twitter.com/LFs4mUQnnn
San Francisco International Airport themselves acknowledged the strike (sort of), with the tip toeing on-eggshells statement below that “A labor action may impact staffing at SFO restaurants and lounges today.”
SFO ALERT — A labor action may impact staffing at SFO restaurants and lounges today. We apologize for any inconvenience this causes.— San Francisco International Airport (SFO) ✈️ (@flySFO) September 26, 2022
“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 organizing union Unite Here Local No. 2’s president Anand Singh said in a statement to KRON4. “Nowadays a single meal at SFO often costs more than what an airport fast-food worker makes in an entire hour. After nine months of negotiations that got us nowhere, we’re ready to strike for decent jobs.”
@uniteherelocal2 A margarita: $21. Antonio’s wage: $16/hr. That’s not right. We’re ready to strike! #strike #airportstrikealert #union #sfo #airport #organize #fyp #newstok ♬ original sound - UniteHereLocal2
That union tells Bloomberg that the average employee pay is but $17.05 an hour, and some workers don't even make that much. The TikTok video above sums it up pretty well; that the items they are handling are quite expensive considering the low pay. “We sell $21 margaritas, and we’re getting paid 16 bucks an hour,” says a Manufactory Food Hall worker identified as Antonio.
🚨 AIRPORT STRIKE ALERT 🚨— UNITE HERE Local 2 (@UniteHereLocal2) September 26, 2022
Traveling through SFO? Get your coffee beforehand and bring your own food.
Workers at virtually all the airport’s coffee shops and restaurants are on strike. Passengers are reporting shuttered restaurants and long lines.#AirportStrikeAlert #1u pic.twitter.com/Jqnr5ebtW5
Picketers are out front of the terminal entrances at the airport, but you can still fly to or from SFO without crossing the picket line. According to Newsweek, “The union advised airport-goers to bring their own food and snacks, though some packaged food is still reportedly available at some shops which SFO says are still running.”
Many of the restaurants will likely try to find replacement employees (i.e. “scabs”), others may remain closed for a work stoppage that could go on for a while.
Related: There Was a Food Worker Rally at SFO on Friday That Led to 41 Arrests [SFist]
Image: @belveDerek via Twitter