SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – The union representing fast food workers at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is warning weekend travelers to get to the airport a little earlier than they may have intended to on Friday, as union members are planning a “protest including civil disobedience with potential to block traffic.”
The protest, organized by Unite Here Local No. 2, will be at Terminal 3 departures level starting at 2 p.m. Friday.
“Travelers should plan to arrive early,” a press release states. SFO’s food service workers allege they are being paid “poverty wages” and have not had a raise in three years. The majority of workers make just $17.05 per hour, the press release continued.
“The workers – including cashiers, baristas, cooks, dishwashers, bartenders, servers, and more – say they want airport employers to take bargaining seriously, and they have voted by 99.7 percent to authorize a strike,” the press release states, noting that their hourly wage is often less than the price of a single meal at the airport.
“I have to work two jobs to support my family, and I’m exhausted from living on four hours of sleep a day,” stated Lucinda To, a lounge attendant at the United Club and a server at Cat Cora’s Kitchen at SFO. “I’m making $16.99 per hour even though a meal at the airport costs at least $20. I hope this protest will show people that workers at SFO need a change, and we are ready to strike for it.”
In one viral TikTok video, an employee says that the hamburger she serves is about 5 dollars more than her hourly wage.
“I make $15.10 an hour and a hamburger costs $19.95,” she says. “Not fair. … Most of my coworkers are working two jobs just to make ends meet.”
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Unite Here Local No. 2 represents over 15,000 workers at SFO, Oakland International Airport and more places in the Bay Area.
“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,” stated local president Anand Singh. “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.”