More than 350 striking transit workers took over the Larkspur Ferry Terminal parking area Tuesday morning, calling for better family health care and a 2 percent raise for union workers.
The Golden Gate Bridge Labor Coalition shut down ferry service between Larkspur, Sausalito and San Francisco to raise support for their stance in ongoing contract negotiations with the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District.
The ferry system resumed service at 2:15 p.m. from Larkspur to San Francisco and 1:55 p.m. from Sausalito to San Francisco, according to bridge district public affairs officer Mary Currie. She said the ferry to the San Francisco Giants game at AT&T Park would depart as scheduled at 5:45 p.m.
Currie said a bargaining session is planned for Monday.
The district canceled ferry service for the beginning of the day in anticipation of the strike. There were similar strikes along the Embarcadero in San Francisco.
"It's been a great day. We've had lots of support," Tonisson said. "The fact that we had 300-plus people out here early this morning and we shut down ferry service is great."
Passing trucks and busses honked their horns loud and long in support of the workers, who carried signs that read "IBU-ILWU on strike against Golden Gate Bridge."
Strikers called to passing California Highway Patrolmen "It'll be your healthcare next!"
Ferry workers were expected to remain at the Larkspur terminal until close to 1 p.m. before going back to work. Ferry service is expected to resume at about 2 p.m.
The ferry terminal parking lot was practically vacant as most people got the message in time to make other commute plans.
"We understand when people are inconvenienced it upsets them. However, a majority of the commuters and boat workers have a really good relationship because they see each other almost every day," Tonisson said. "We haven't heard a lot of blow back from the folks. We've actually had a lot of support."
Tonisson said today that Teamsters Local 665, which represents the transit district's bus operators, could strike on May 10 if a contract settlement is not reached in time.
Tonisson said there is a good chance that bus service will be cut that day and that the Teamsters are expected to provide details on the walk-off.
Currie declined to comment on what preparations, if any, the transit district would make should transit workers strike again.
There had been concerns that protesters would try to shut down the Golden Gate Bridge and there was a large police presence on the brudge, but there were no reported incidents.
— Bay City News contributed to this report