Nearly a thousand fast food workers went on strike at the San Francisco International Airport on Monday, causing many food establishments and lounges to shutter, said an airport workers' union.
Union members began striking at 3:30 a.m. on Monday in front of the departures level at every terminal, and plan to picket every day until 10:30 p.m. unless their employers agree to provide better pay.
As the strike continues, union members are urging travelers to boycott the airport's food establishments and bring their own coffee and snacks before their flights.
Workers are asking for fully-funded health care and higher wages, as their average pay of $17.05 per hour is not livable, said a union spokesperson from Unite Here Local 2.
The union also went to TikTok to share their demands, featuring airport workers comparing their pay to the cost of food they serve.
Their most viral video — which has racked in over 500,000 views — features Vivian, who has worked at the airport for a decade, and holds two jobs. She said one pizza and one drink at Pie Five Pizza, where she works, costs $21.46, while her hourly pay is $17.65.
"We deserve fair wages and more contribution to protect our medical insurance and improve our pension," Vivian said in the video. "We are ready to fight!"
Cashiers, baristas, cooks and servers from 20 different employers at 84 food outlets say they haven't had a raise in three years, and have been in negotiations with their employers for the past nine months. Union representatives also say workers pay hundreds of dollars a month for health care.
"Workers are tired of jobs that aren't enough to live on, and we're prepared to strike for as long as it takes to win better wages and affordable health care," said union president Anand Singh in a statement.
Airport officials went to Twitter to warn travelers that labor action may be affected by the strike.
"We apologize for any inconvenience this causes," airport officials posted on Twitter.
Negotiators for food service employers have not provided a statement at the time of publication.