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Airport asks employees to ‘volunteer’ for Super Bowl-related work

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The San Francisco Airport is joining the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency on the Super Bowl volunteerism bandwagon.

Last week the San Francisco Examiner reported thousands of SFMTA employees were asked to volunteer for Super Bowl-related work – paid on The City’s dime.

First it was just one city agency. Now, it’s two.

An email from San Francisco Airport Director John Martin was made public on social media Thursday, saying SFO staff are being asked to “volunteer” to assist an influx passengers attributed to the Super Bowl.

“The Super Bowl is generating the largest number of passengers in SFO history,” Martin wrote, in the email, justifying the need for extra shifts.

The email was posted on Twitter by San Francisco Magazine Senior Editor Joe Eskenazi.

Doug Yakel, a spokesman for the airport, told the San Francisco Examiner “The substance of the email in the photo is accurate.”

Supervisor Jane Kim previously criticized city agencies trying to play a “shell game” to hide how much money was being spent on the Super Bowl City, a festival hosted downtown.

Workers diverted from normal jobs to Super Bowl related tasks, Kim said previously, is a loss in productivity paid for by San Francisco taxpayers.

The email details a need for extra hours from SFO customer service staff. The 71 employees who volunteered to guide passengers in “their regular work hours” will be paid a total of $16,246, Martin wrote in his email.

In response to inquiries, Yakel wrote, “We are expecting all-time record volumes at SFO as a result of the Super Bowl, and have added shifts to our existing program of volunteers to assist passengers.”

He added, “Over half of those shifts are being fulfilled by our current unpaid volunteers or existing paid customer service staff.”

The remainder volunteered during their regular work hours or on their own time, Yakel said, and no overtime was paid.

“Operations at SFO are proceeding very well as passengers arrive for the Super Bowl,” he said.

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