SFO Restaurant Union Negotiation Breakdown Could Lead To Hungry SFO Travelers

MILBRAE (KCBS)- Contract talks between 600 restaurant workers at San Francisco International Airport and The SFO Airport Restaurant Employer Council disintegrated this week when the management group released a press release.

Negotiations for a three-year-deal took a nasty turn, when the release by restaurant management chastised Local 2 Unite Here, for refusing to extend its contract that expired last August. One extension had already expired on January, 31st.

Management spokesman Sam Singer said that means the “no strike/no lock-out clause” is no longer in effect, which suggests a strike vote is imminent and that could mean no food for hungry travelers.

Singer blames the union for what he calls an adversarial act.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

“The restaurants at San Francisco Airport had a very good agreement with the union representatives that there would be cooperative discussions, but all of a sudden Local 2 stopped that cooperation and put the restaurants in a difficult position,” said Singer.

Local 2 President Mike Casey has countered by saying it’s much ado about nothing and that talks are on going. Casey maintained while the two sides have big economic differences, there’s no strike vote scheduled.

“Their provocative press releases and statement, I can only imagine are designed to try to provoke a fight, which we’re still looking for a way to negotiate a settlement here,” said Casey.

Local 2 is asking for a $4 an hour wage increase over the life of the new contract and increased payments into their pension fund. The restaurants say the workers already make over $19 an hour in pay and benefits and their demands are completely unrealistic.

The two sides are far apart on economic issues, but Casey said there’s a lot more talking to do at the table before the dispute is taken to the picket lines.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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