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SF McDonald’s Workers Protest Over Alleged Lack of Coronavirus Protections

Also: A high-end tequila heist in San Jose, and more news to start your day

Workers at a Fillmore District McDonald’s protested against working conditions Thursday
East Bay DSA/Twitter

Workers at the McDonald’s restaurant on San Francisco’s Fillmore Street went on strike Thursday, saying that their colleagues are falling ill but must still come to work.

According to a Wednesday tweet from the East Bay chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), at least one worker planned to strike Thursday “after discovering confirmed cases of COVID-19 among her co-workers — and no response from management.”

At the April 30 demonstration, numerous cooks and cashiers told the San Francisco Chronicle that at least four employees of the restaurant at 1100 Fillmore Street had tested positive for the new coronavirus (COVID-19). The group also made a complaint to the San Francisco Department of Public Health, alleging that “employees have come to work while visibly sick, and when personal protective equipment was in short supply at the restaurant, employees were told to wear coffee filters as masks.”

Peter Ou, the franchisee who owns and operates that McDonald’s (and who also sold the notoriously troubled Haight and Stanyan McDonald’s to the city of San Francisco for a reported $10 million in 2017), denies the claims that any workers have fallen ill, and says that the restaurant is “in full compliance with all state-level orders, including sick pay and PPE requirements.” Meanwhile, company-owned McDonald’s in the U.K. will reopen on May 13, despite health and safety concerns from workers, who are asking how they’ll be able to find personal protective equipment (PPE) to wear to work when healthcare workers in the region remain unsupplied.

And in other news...

  • Thieves broke through a rooftop patio door at San Jose’s Loft Bar and Bistro, then stole about $2,200 of high-end tequilas. “They definitely knew their alcohol,” co-owner Kam Razavi said. “It wasn’t random, but it amazes me that they would do it for alcohol.” [New York Times]
  • There’s been a bit of musical chairs at Berkeley Plaza, as pizza spot Baiano has permanently shuttered and Las Cabañas Mexican Grill & Taqueria has opened for takeout of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. [Berkeleyside]
  • Burlingame Italian spot Fattoria e Mare had a dining room that holds 375 people, and when they saw the coronavirus writing on the wall they closed their doors. The restaurant will reopen (they hope, by Father’s Day, June 21) in Half Moon Bay, in a smaller space. [SF Chronicle]
  • Here’s another piece speculating (and it’s all speculation, folks — officials haven’t even figured out what the rules might be) about what the San Francisco restaurant dining experience might be like in the (years long, most likely) window between reopening and a COVID-19 vaccine. [SF Business Times]
  • Groundbreaking Treasure Island restaurant Mersea has yet to score a paycheck protection program (PPP) loan, so co-founder Meesun Boice had to raid her savings to keep the spot open. [KTVU]
  • Speaking of PPP loans: Shalini Khanna, the owner of a local Una Mas Mexican Grill location, says that she’s applied but “so far I haven’t got a dime. Being on the (federal loan) websites is like a full-time job.” [SF Chronicle]
  • On the topic of moving from fine dining to takeout, Lazy Bear’s Dave Barzelay says, “We’re not gonna make any money; that’s not even our goal. The goal is paying our staff. It’s about keeping a sense of community and camaraderie that we get from doing this and [keeping] our staff supported and happy.” [SF Gate]