Today's mega rain was already poised to disrupt travel at San Francisco International Airport. But throw in a strike from SFO restaurant workers, and you've got the perfect holiday travel shitstorm. Beginning this morning, over 1,000 restaurant workers went on a 48-hour strike in a fight for higher wages, health care benefits and job security. The restaurant worker's union behind the strike, UNITE HERE Local 2, has even advised travelers passing through SFO to bring their own food to the airport.
The fight stems from a proposed freeze on health care payments, which would subtract over $4,200 per year from workers' already low paychecks. According to the union, workers earn an average of $24,124, a paltry sum given the Bay Area's high cost of living. Workers and the union have been negotiating with the SFO Airport Restaurant Employer Council, which represents the restaurant owners, for over a year. They're also seeking increased job security— currently, there's no guarantee workers will remain employees of the airport when a given dining outlet closes, as frequently happens.
SFO spokesman Doug Yakel says that "Over 80 percent of the restaurants at SFO are currently open," as well as all retail locations offering packaged food and beverages. But the union has different numbers: they say 55 of the airport's dining outlets will be affected during the strike. Our count of the total outlets, confirmed by SFO staff last month, is 58, which means basically all of them are in trouble (or have found scabs to handle the missed shifts). With passengers from over 235 cancelled flights hungrily roaming the airport, this is not good news.
SFO has weather delays and food workers picked today to strike. Stranded travelers won't have anywhere to get ripped off for a meal.— Never Sleeping Again (@okerland) December 11, 2014
SFO did confirm that all of the 37 restaurants below will be closed during the wrath of Stormpocalypse. If you're stuck at SFO, peruse Eater's Airport Dining Guide for some alternative options, or ditch the airport, head cityside and check out these places that are #OpeninSF.
Buena Vista Café
Cat Cora Cocktail Lounge
Guava & Java
Lark Creek Grill
Legends of San Francisco
Mission Bar and Grill
Napa Farms Market
Peet’s Coffee & Tea
The Plant Café Organic / Pinkberry
San Francisco Soup Co.
Soup & Salad Works
Willow Creek Grille
Willow Street Pizza