The Golden Gate Bridge is one of America’s most famous icons. However, right now we have a disturbing and heartbreaking situation going on at the bridge.
Over 380 union members who are joined in a coalition of 19 unions have been bargaining for over 10 months without reaching an agreement, and now are down to a fight to keep healthcare affordable for their families. The Golden Gate Bridge General Manager and Board have insisted on concessions to help them out of a short-term budget challenge, while also giving the non-union employees at the District a raise in July of 2011. At the table, the union coalition has offered major concessions and has been told by management that the District’s financial needs have been met.
The District is now insisting on principle, not on real economic need, that union members should be forced into a healthcare premium sharing plan based on the ever increasing cost of enrollment. This is unfair and would make healthcare unaffordable for families. In addition they want to reduce union retirees’ vested healthcare benefits.
These determined union members have set a great example for all of us by joining together and being responsible in doing their part to solve the district's budget problem, while drawing a line to protect their health insurance and their retirees. We need to stand with them.
In the coming months, the Golden Gate Bridge District will be holding events celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge. We will be there to tell the District that it shouldn’t be putting on galas while attacking the people that actually make the bridge run at the same time.
Our first stand will be on Thursday, February 23rd at 6:30 PM at the Golden Gate Bridge 75th Anniversary Orchid Gala Benefit Preview Night at Fort Mason. There will be an informational picket line in support of the workers who dedicate their lives to operating and maintaining the bridge, providing transit services and serving the customers of the Hwy 101 Golden Gate Corridor.
We will continue this fight and to stand in solidarity to stop the attacks on public employees and protect the workers who help the public. All future actions can be found on the San Francisco Labor Council website.