FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 1, 2012
Golden Gate Ferry Workers Lead the Way Toward Securing Healthcare and Good Jobs
Golden Gate Bus Workers Show Solidarity, Announce Plans to Strike
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Golden Gate Ferry workers led the way toward securing healthcare and good jobs when they struck the morning shift today at the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District. Over three hundred supporters joined them at the picket lines at the Larkspur and San Francisco Ferry Terminals from 5am until 2pm. At the San Francisco Ferry Terminal, members of Occupy San Francisco supported workers with a kayak brigade and signs that read “healthcare,” “respect,” and “99%.”
In addition to leading the Golden Gate Bridge Labor Coalition’s fight for healthcare, ferry workers are also fighting for their jobs. Last year, Golden Gate Bridge District management announced plans to replace ticket agents with machines. Management is now threatening to replace ferry terminal assistants with metal ramps.
“Since they laid off the ticket agents, our work has quadrupled. We don’t want management to lay us off too. Everyone knows it’s better to have a human being helping passengers than a machine,” said Rene Alvarado, terminal assistant at the Larkspur Ferry Terminal and member of the Inlandboatmen’s Union.
Terminal assistants are responsible for moving boats from one berth to another, helping people purchase tickets, maintaining the inside of the terminal and parking lot, and making sure that people can park when the lots are full.
At the Larkspur Ferry picket line, Golden Gate bus workers who are members of Teamsters Local 665 announced that they too will be going on strike.
“For generations, workers have fought together to win healthcare and good jobs for all of us. When we stand alone, we are easily divided. But when workers, families, and communities, stand together we can create a tide that lifts all boats.” said Alex Tonisson, Organizer and Co-Chair of the Golden Gate Bridge Labor Coalition.
The Labor Coalition has offered concessions worth $2,109,350 million each year. Although Golden Gate Bridge District management has acknowledged that the financial needs of the district have been met, they are still seeking to push rising healthcare costs onto workers and their families and continuing their push to replace people with machines.
Hear more from about Golden Gate bridge, bus, and ferry workers’ fight for healthcare and good jobs: http://youtu.be/LMrvPaeP7WQ
The Golden Gate Bridge Labor Coalition is made up of over 380 bridge, bus, and ferry workers who help San Francisco commuters get to work safely each day. Bridge, bus, and ferry workers belong to 14 unions including the Inlandboatmen’s Union, MEBA D-1, Operating Engineers, Teamsters #665, Machinists, Ironworkers, Laborers, Electricians, Plumbers, Carpenters, Cement Masons, IFPTE Local21, Transport Workers, Teamsters #856.