Hundreds of workers from The City’s largest union marched on City Hall on Wednesday to demand better compensation and implore Mayor Ed Lee to “chop from the top.”
The activity by Service Employees International Union Local 1021 comes as The City is renegotiating 27 labor contracts for San Francisco’s workforce, with deadlines in mid-May.
Workers waved signs, carried irreverent life-size cutouts of wealthy CEOs and parroted rhetoric from the Occupy Wall Street movement that the bottom 99 percent of wage earners are being exploited by the top 1 percent. Workers said they have sacrificed during hard times and now that the economic situation is improving, no more concessions should be made.
Speakers also expressed disdain at recent news that some of San Francisco’s top officials, including the mayor, will be receiving regular raises.
The City is asking workers to take a 2.7 percent wage cut in the form of seven furlough days and pay more for health benefits.
But SEIU, which represents about half The City’s 26,000 employees, is instead seeking pay raises. If the two sides can’t come to terms, a third-party arbitrator will be brought in to settle the contracts.