San Francisco Airport Food Service Workers Go On Strike Following Months Of Negotiations

Inside the international terminal at San Francisco International Airport. Union food service workers are on strike. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Melanie Wilcox Contributor
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After more than nine months of negotiating with their employers, about 1,000 San Francisco International Airport restaurant workers went on strike Monday, SFGATE reported.

“The workers’ compensation is currently not enough to live on,” Anand Singh, president of Unite Here Local 2, told SFGATE. “[The employers] have not moved nearly enough to get to the place where we can make a deal on a new contract. And that’s why we’ve had to go down this road.” (RELATED: ‘$2 Billion Daily’: Potential Rail Strike Threatens Weakened Economy)

Represented by the SFO Airport Restaurant Employer Council, 84 airport restaurant outlets employ the cashiers, baristas, bartenders, servers, and dishwashers that went on strike, according to Unite Here Local 2, the union representing SFO’s food service workers.

Most of the workers make about $17 an hour and many need to work more than two jobs, Singh told SFGATE. Low wages and rising healthcare costs are why the food service workers are going on strike, multiple workers also told SFGATE.

“Nobody can pay their bills or feed their kids on $17 an hour,” Singh said. “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.”