SAN FRANCISCO — Out of the 50 people arrested for protesting for better wages and benefits at San Francisco International Airport, three were city officials.
Supervisors Gordon Mar, Ahsha Safai, and Matt Haney said it was important to be in solidarity with catering workers of American Airlines, who are members of the union – Unite Here Local 2.
Filipinos were among the hundreds of protesting workers who said that with their current situation, they cannot even afford to get sick.
“My copay is $30, and then with my x-rays and sonogram i have to pay $800 out of my pocket.”
Other workers hope that this demonstration was enough to get the attention of their catering companies and American Airlines.
“We picked a perfect day during the holiday to get attention. We want help. We don’t want to work six days a week, and a part-time job just to feed our families.”
According to the San Francisco Chronicle — LSG Sky Chefs and Gate Gourmet, the catering companies that many of the protesters work for, said they respect the employees’ right to demonstrate and that they expect to reach a fair and competitive agreement.
In an email, American Airlines told the Chronicle:
“We understand that new labor contracts between Unite Here and LSG Sky Chefs and Gate Gourmet will result in increased costs for their many airline customers, including American. We are not in a position to control the outcome of their negotiations or dictate what wages or benefits are agreed upon between the catering companies and their employees.”
All 50 who were arrested were cited for civil disobedience and released.