San Francisco airport food workers on strike amid storm, flight delays

SFO food workers walk out amid flight delays, huge storm

Up to 1,000 food workers at San Francisco International Airport went on strike Thursday morning, closing many of the airport’s restaurants amid a winter storm that’s delaying flights out of the Bay Area for hours.

“Travelers – bring your own food if you’re flying out of the San Francisco International Airport!” Unite Here Local 2, a hospitality workers’ union, said in a statement posted on its website.

The strike affects 55 restaurants owned by 23 companies at SFO, the union said in a news release. The strike is the latest move in an ongoing dispute with the restaurant companies over healthcare payments and job security.

“The restaurants at SFO bank huge money from airline passengers,” Jesse Johnson, a union board member, said in the news release. “We’re out here fighting for our families.”

The strike began before 4 a.m., said SFO Airport Duty Manager Larry Mares. He said food options at the airport are “limited” but that passengers could still get snacks and drinks from newsstands and some other vendors.

The Transportation Security Administration’s rules for food and drinks at security check points still apply, Mares said. According to the TSA website, pies and cakes are permissible through security pending additional screening, as are unopened, packaged food and unpeeled fruit.

Beverage-wise, passengers are still limited to toiletries of 3 ounces or less. Medically required liquids such as baby formula are OK.

The strike is taking place amid the strongest Bay Area storm in years. Heavy rain was falling across Nothern California as an “atmospheric river” brought in cold air and strong winds that have knocked over trees and slowed public transit.

Flights going into and out of SFO are delayed up to three hours and 40 minutes, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

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