San Francisco airport workers ended a three-day strike Thursday after reaching a tentative deal that includes “significant” pay increases and improved healthcare benefits.
The deal, which still must be ratified by union members, came after around 1,000 restaurant, coffee shop, and bar workers at the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) walked off the job to demand better wages and conditions, temporarily shuttering the operations of many of the airport’s food and drink spots.
Represented by UNITE HERE Local 2, the workers noted that they haven’t received a wage increase in three years even as costs of living have surged, forcing many to work more than one job to meet basic needs. The majority of food workers at the airport make $17.05 per hour, the union said—far below the estimated living wage for San Francisco.
The union, which negotiated the deal with the SFO Airport Restaurant Employer Council, called the pay hikes “huge” but said the details of the agreement won’t be released until after the workforce holds a ratification vote on Sunday. In August, 99.7% of SFO food service workers voted to authorize the strike.
“This victory shows the world that fast-food jobs can in fact be good, family-sustaining jobs, and it’s all because workers had the courage to strike,” Anand Singh, president of UNITE HERE Local 2, said in a statement. “After three years without a raise, SFO’s fast-food workers found it tiring to work two or even three jobs just to survive—so they took their lives into their own hands and won a better future.”
The strike by SFO workers came amid a broader wave of labor actions across the United States as companies continue to rake in record profits on the backs of their underpaid employees, many of whom have seen their wages eroded by corporate-driven inflation.
Citing data from Cornell University’s Labor Action Tracker, journalist Michael Sainato reported for The Guardian earlier this week that “strikes in 2022 so far have significantly outpaced strike activity in 2021, with 180 strikes involving 78,000 workers in the first six months of 2022, compared with 102 strikes involving 26,500 workers in the first six months of 2021.”
Originally published at Commondreams.org.