Here’s Why You May Not Be Able to Get a Pre-Flight Coffee at SFO Today
Frycooks and baristas alike at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) have gone on strike in protest of pay and working conditions. About 1,000 airport food workers from 84 food and beverage outposts went on strike through the Unite Here Local 2 union at 6:00 a.m. on September 26, SFGATE reported first. The union members have held ongoing demonstrations since Friday, September 16, including a traffic interruption that resulted in a mass police citation of 41 protestors with politicians including District Supervisor hopeful Honey Mahogany, Supervisors Connie Chan and Gordon Mar, and San Jose’s Assemblymember Ash Kalra and San Mateo County’s state Senator Josh Becker among the protestor ranks. The main cause of the demonstrations and strike is many workers’ going three years without a pay raise, the union’s representatives have told a number of news outlets.
What does this mean for travelers trying to get a morning latte or pre-flight sandwich? Through a union press release, workers say travelers should bring their own food, though Doug Yakel, the public information officer for SFO’s External Affairs Office, said in an emailed statement Monday that newsstands will be open (think snack bars, smoothies, packaged goods). It’s unclear exactly how many airport restaurants will be open and serving food; Yakel said “some food and beverage outlets are closed, while others remain open with limited hours and offerings.” Online ordering for restaurants that serve at SFO such as Goldilocks Filipino Cuisine in Harvey Milk Terminal 1, is unavailable.
Eater SF reached out to a number of companies regarding their airport outposts’ hours and staffing — many are still unsure if their shops are open, will stay open, or will be at full capacity. We will update this story as more information becomes available.
Ted Waechter, a media representative for Unite Here Local 2, told Axios the striking workers’ average pay is $17.05 per hour, but after nine months of negotiations with restaurant operators, the airport still has not agreed to increase wages. The airport apologizes in advance for any inconvenience in receiving full meals, though no comment was made regarding wages, working conditions, or the future of the airport’s relationship with its employees, perhaps what should be top of mind for the expansive travel center. There is no determined end in sight for the strike.