SFO Restaurant Workers’ Strike Ends

Restaurant workers returned to work at SFO Saturday after a two-day strike, union officials have announced.

Union representatives said the strike caused widespread disruption to food and beverage services, a claim that could not immediately be confirmed with airport officials.

Union officials say the prospect for an extended labor dispute is mounting.

“This limited walkout was intended to send a clear message,” said Buena Vista CafĂ© bartender Jesse Johnson. Johnson is a member of the union’s executive board.

“Workers at SFO’s restaurants are determined to win the job security protections and health care coverage we deserve,” Johnson said.

“Hopefully, these restaurant companies heard that loud and clear, but we are prepared for any eventuality,” Johnson added.

Union officials said about 900 restaurant workers walked off the job during the strike, which has come after more than a year of contract negotiations, according to the union.

The final offer made to the union by restaurants would make health coverage unaffordable to most workers and would leave demands for job security unresolved, union officials said.

In addition, the officials say the group representing the restaurants engaged in illegal coercive behavior against employees.

This morning union leaders are planning to continue negotiations with leaders of the restaurants, according to the union.

Tuesday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors will be holding a public hearing about the dispute at the airport. The hearing is item 48 on the Board’s agenda.

The union representing workers at SFO is UNITE HERE Local 2, which serves more than 12,000 workers in the area’s hospitality industries.

Keith Burbank, Bay City News

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