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SFO Restaurant Workers Officially Ratify New Contract

Fast food workers at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) on Sunday approved a new union contract, giving them a $5 per hour raise and free family health care, after 1,000 workers went out on strike for three days last week.

An agreement between the union and the airport’s consortium of restaurants was tentatively announced Thursday, after the union’s bargaining committee unanimously approved it. The union said workers hadn’t had a raise in three years and were in negotiations for the past nine months.

The strike shut down most of SFO’s food and beverage outlets for much of last week.

The union said Sunday the deal passed the hospitality workers’ union UNITE HERE Local 2 by a vote of 99.5 percent.

Workers will immediately get a $3 per hour raise, with the entire $5 raise coming by September 2024. Most workers’ hourly wage will increase almost 30 percent, from $17.05 to $22.05.

Workers will also receive free platinum-tier family health insurance, including medical, dental, and vision. Workers can cover the whole family with no premiums and co-pays of less than $30 for most doctor’s visits and prescriptions.

The union also secured increased retirement income through a defined-benefit pension, a retention policy to protect workers’ jobs when outlets change operators, and a one-time $1,500 bonus.

“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,” said Anand Singh, President of UNITE HERE Local 2. “After three years without a raise, SFO’s fast-food workers were tired of working two or even three jobs just to survive – so they took their lives into their own hands and won a better future.”

According to union officials, the strike included a thousand cashiers, baristas, cooks, dishwashers, bartenders, servers, and lounge attendants at 84 food and beverage outlets throughout SFO. The contract will expire in August 2025.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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