SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Airports workers across the country are rallying and picketing on Thursday, calling for better wages and benefits. The workers include baggage handlers, janitors, security guards, cabin cleaners, and more.
There are close to 100 vehicles carrying SFO airport screeners and passenger service workers took part in a car caravan from the Caltrain station in San Bruno to SFO to highlight several demands for better working conditions and an increase in pay.
SEIU-USWW industry Vice President of the Airport’s Division in Northern California, Joe Grandov says these union members are taking part in a nationwide day of action because workers are facing similar conditions at airports throughout the country.
“We’re trying to let the airlines, the airport, and all the passengers and all the people know that we’re not happy. We’re way underpaid. We’re way understaffed, and we need to be able to do something better,” said Grandov.
SFO security checkpoint employee Mariann Smith says more workers are also needed to keep passengers safe. The union employees are currently in negotiations with the airport for a new contract.
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SFO officials declined to comment on workers’ demands. Instead, a spokesperson sent KRON4 a statement that reads, “Our goal is to provide for this free speech activity while allowing passengers to move throughout the airport without impediment.”
The caravan did slow things down for vehicles dropping off and picking up passengers at SFO, which appears to have been the goal for those taking part in this day of action.