By Adam Sabes
A food workers union at San Francisco International Airport says 41 protesters were arrested and cited for blocking traffic.
The union, Unite Here Local 2, said in a Friday press release that the group intended to practice “civil disobedience” with the potential to “block traffic” in protest for higher wages.
Union members and supporters of Unite Here Local 2 blocked traffic outside terminal three at the airport on Friday afternoon, according to a press release by the group.
Food service workers at the airport voted 99.7% in favor of authorizing a strike in August.
“The non-violent civil disobedience, as well as picket lines by hundreds of workers and supporters, drew attention to workers’ fight against poverty wages and unaffordable health care,” a press release by the union states.
According to the press release, many fast-food workers “have not seen a raise in three years,” and make $17.05 an hour, requiring people to work two or three jobs in order to make ends meet.
Lucinda To, a lounge attendant at the United Club as well as a server at Cat Cora’s Kitchen at the airport, said in the press release that she lives on four hours of sleep per day.
“I have to work two jobs to support my family, and I’m exhausted from living on four hours of sleep a day,” To said. “I’m making $16.99 per hour even though a meal at the airport costs at least $20. I hope this protest will show people that workers at SFO need a change, and we are ready to strike for it.”
Among those present at the protest were former California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher and State Sen. Josh Becker.
The union noted that a “strike could begin at any time.”