Northern California’s “stormpocalypse” may have delayed travel at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) last week, but it also presented an opportunity for the restaurant workers there to spread their message and demands for higher wages, health care benefits, and job security by carrying out a 48-hour strike.
With 235 cancelled flights, over 1,000 restaurant workers refusing to carry out their duties, and 37 restaurants closed, delayed passengers were left roaming the airport with rumbling bellies this past Thursday and Friday. The restaurant workers’ union behind the strike, UNITE HERE Local 2, reportedly advised travelers that they should bring their own food to the airport, according to the San Francisco Eater.
— UNITE HERE Local 2 (@UniteHereLocal2) December 11, 2014
— David Hu (@specialforkdave) December 11, 2014
The fight started over a year ago when the SFO Airport Restaurant Employer Council started unsuccessful negotiations with the workers in relation to approximately $4,200 annually which would be subtracted from their paychecks resulting from a proposed freeze on health care payments.
The Eater notes that the workers who went on strike earn an average of $24,124 a year, a figure that poses a major challenge for living in the region given the Bay Area’s skyrocketing prices.
— jin stedge (@jinstedge) November 25, 2014
The Eater did provide a list of several other restaurants in SFO that were open and ready to serve a variety of fare for the stranded passengers.
Adelle Nazarian is on Twitter @AdelleNaz