SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Instead of working inside the airport, fast food and restaurant workers are in front of terminals at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) on strike.
There are about a thousand people in the Unite Here Local No. 2 union who work at restaurants, bars, coffee shops and lounges at SFO.
Workers claim the majority of them make about 17 dollars an hour and they haven’t received a raise in three years. Employees say their hourly pay doesn’t even cover the price of a single meal at SFO, and many of them work multiple jobs to support their families.
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 in a news release. “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.”
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.”
Forty-one people were arrested Sept. 16 while protesting at SFO for better wages, as KRON4 previously reported. The protesters blocked traffic outside Terminal 3.
The strike is open-ended with workers from 30 different companies bargaining together. But so far no deal has been reached, so union workers decided a strike was the best way to move forward.
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Inside the airport, people flying out won’t be able to get food or drinks before take-off, so flyers are advised to bring their own food.
SFO noted these impacts in a statement and apologized for “any inconvenience.”
“The San Francisco International Airport (SFO) advises travelers that a labor action by airport food workers is impacting staffing restaurants and lounges,” the airport stated. “Some food and beverage outlets are closed, while others remain open with limited hours and offerings. Staffing at newsstands is not currently affected, and these outlets will continue to offer grab-and-go food and beverages. Full-service meal availability may be limited. SFO apologizes for any inconvenience this causes.”