Day of action on May 1 could lead to Occupy takeover of Golden Gate Bridge

| April 22, 2012
A labor coalition is considering action on May 1 that may result in the Golden Gate Bridge being shut down. - GETTY IMAGES FILE PHOTO
  • Getty Images file photo
  • A labor coalition is considering action on May 1 that may result in the Golden Gate Bridge being shut down.

A day of action planned by labor groups on May 1 could involve an Occupy-related takeover of the Golden Gate Bridge during the morning commute.

The Golden Gate Bridge Labor Coalition, a collection of union groups, has planned a picketing event near the toll plaza to protest ongoing contract negotiations with the Golden Gate Bridge District. The unions are upset over changes to their retirement and health care benefits, which would require workers to absorb more costs, according to Wade Ayers, a bus service maintenance employee.

If any of the unions involved in the coalition opt to go on strike over the dispute, the Occupy movement has said in a statement that they would shut down all modes of transportation over the Golden Gate Bridge on May 1 in a show of solidarity.

Ayers, a shop steward with Iron Workers Local 665, said the San Francisco Labor Council has granted strike sanction to the coalition.

“We’re not afraid to strike, but right now I think it’s too early to say we will,” Ayers said. “No one wants a strike, but at the same time, we’re not going to just sit around and say nothing.”

The bridge district is closely monitoring the events planned for May 1, said spokeswoman Mary Currie. The district is committed to insuring the convenience and safety of its customers, but it is advising commuters that there might be possible delays that day, she said.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

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