Commuters and tourists scrambled to find ways to get around San Francisco this morning as San Francisco Municipal Railway service operated at about a third of its normal capacity because of a contract dispute that prompted a “sickout” by a large number of Muni workers.
Only about 200 of Muni’s roughly 600 vehicles are in service this morning, agency spokesman Paul Rose said. Cable car service has been shut down today and major delays are occurring across the Muni system after a large portion of workers called in sick today.
A Muni bus packed with riders made its way down Market Street near the Civic Center station around 10:40 a.m.
Meanwhile, a line of people at a Muni bus stop at Market and Fifth streets waited for an available bus.
One man, 28-year-old Duy Dao, said he was heading to work at San Francisco’s Department of Public Works and had been at the bus stop for 45 minutes with no sign of his usual 9-San Bruno line bus.
“I’m still waiting,” Dao said.
Italian tourist Giada Acquistapace, 30, said she’d been waiting at the stop for about 25 minutes and was pondering alternative modes of transportation to get to the Golden Gate Bridge today.
Many commuters, including San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener, took to Twitter this morning to vent their frustrations about the sickout.
“Walking from Castro to City Hall due to Muni driver illegal sickout. Thank you to the Muni drivers who actually showed up to do their jobs,” Weiner wrote, referring to a law passed by voters in 2010 that prohibits Muni workers from striking.
Some Muni riders this morning turned to BART, which is honoring Muni fares all day today between Daly City and downtown San Francisco, Muni officials said.
The employee union, Transport Workers Union Local 250-A, was not immediately commenting on the sickout but has been in a contentious contract dispute with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency over the past two months.
The union voted last week on a proposed agreement with the SFMTA. The outcome of the vote was not immediately being released, but TWU Local 250-A president Eric Williams said on the union’s website that it was an “unfair contract” and that the “city devalued our service as they proposed unreasonable take aways.”