May Day protests begin with ferry workers strike

Pub date May 1, 2012
WriterYael Chanoff
SectionPolitics Blog

[Editor’s Note: We’ll be covering May Day events in San Francisco and Oakland throughout the day, so check back for regular updates.]

May Day activities have begun with a strike by ferry workers and Golden Gate Transit workers, halting parts of the morning commute.

About 100 ferry workers picketed at the Ferry Building in San Francisco, as well as the Larkspur Ferry Terminal. In anticipation of the strike, the Golden Gate Bridge District announced that they would cancel morning ferry service yesterday. Service should resume at 2:15.

Workers from the Golden Gate Bridge Coalition say that they have offered concessions of more than $2 million and are still locked in labor disputes, prompting the strike for the traditional International Workers Day. 

“The last thing that bridge, bus, and ferry workers want to do is to inconvenience passengers, but what other option has management left us?” said Alex Tonisson, co-chair of the Golden Gate Bridge Labor Coalition, in a press release.

The strikes come after a rough start to May Day demonstrations in San Francisco. A plan for workers on the Golden Gate Bridge to strike and shut down traffic on the bridge was called off two days before the planned demonstration. Last night, protesters vandalized store windows, cars, and the Mission Police station in a march along Valencia St. Organizers with Occupy SF and Occupy Oakland were quick to distance themselves and condemn the destruction, both physically at the protest and in subsequent statements. 

We will continue to update as events unfold.