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Friday, December 12, 2014

SFO Food Workers on Strike. No Bloody Marys For You

Posted By on Fri, Dec 12, 2014 at 8:43 AM

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As if flight delays are bad enough, the folks who dish up your overpriced egg sandwiches and bloody marys are on strike again today, which is both good and bad for you. 

Bad because now you have to stay sober for your flight, but good that you won't be shelling out $15 for a cup of oatmeal. 

Unite Here Local 2, the hotel and restaurant workers union, is asking passengers to BYOF (bring your own food) if your traveling out of SFO today as nearly 1,000 restaurant workers remain on strike for the second day in a row. Most concession outlets are either closed or partially closed due to the strike. 

The union's complaint is this: After working without a contract for more than a year in a region where middle-class workers are screwed, want more job security and better health care written into their contract. 

The union, which has been without a contract for more than 16 months, began picketing the airport yesterday over management's plan to freeze contributions to worker’s health care funds at the current level for the next five years.

To put that into context, the average restaurant worker earns about $24,000 a year.

“These restaurant companies have forgotten that my coworkers and I are the ones who make them so successful” said Molly Gomez, a server who works at Gordon Biersch, which is operated by HMS Host. “We walked off the job to remind them of that, and to draw our customers’ attention to the fact that we deserve better.”

What's more, Local 2 says it is filing charges with the federal government against the SFO restaurant group – known as the Airport Restaurant Employers Council – for "illegal coercive behavior against employees." In other words, according to the union, restaurant owners are threatening termination for those workers who go on strike. 

Amid all the delays, bad weather, and striking foodies, airport officials are waxing optimism, claiming most restaurants remain open and things are moving smoothly at SFO.

Twitter users are saying otherwise.

We're trying to get a full count of the closures. In the meantime, snack on something before you leave the house — the last thing the airport needs is a bunch of hangry passengers. 

Update: Laurel Fish, spokeswoman for the union, tells us that there are 55 negotiating outlets at SFO, the the vast majority of which are experiencing full or partial closures. Still no word on how many restaurants that leaves open for business. 
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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.

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