San Diego workers strike for 'Day of Disruption'

Posted at 6:48 AM, Nov 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-29 21:38:56-05

SAN DIEGO -- Fast-food, home-care, child-care and other workers are taking part in a series of protests Tuesday in San Diego and across the nation known as the "Day of Disruption" in support of higher wages and workers' rights.

Organizers, including the Service Employees International Union, said the demonstrations are being held in response to the recent election of politicians "who threaten an extremist agenda to move the country to the right."

The protests "will underscore that any efforts to block wage increases, gut workers' rights or health care, deport immigrants or support racism or racist policies will be met with unrelenting opposition by workers in the Fight for $15," according to organizers.

A series of rallies happened throughout San Diego. At 6 a.m., dozens of people gathered outside a McDonald's in the 2700 block of Main Street in Barrio Logan.

At 12:30 p.m., a second protest was held at the San Diego International Airport. The airport advised fliers to arrive early due to possible traffic congestion on North Harbor Drive.

"It's a fight for fairness against what the airport has been doing," said Tarek Afifi, a cab driver representing United Taxi Workers of San Diego. "Basically, they have a $3 billion excess budget and they're very happy to tell everyone about that."

Patricia Velazquez has worked at the San Diego International Airport for 18 years. She is a janitor who makes $12.06 per hour. She has two children.

"Sometimes we have to think - pay the rent or buy food for our kids," she said. "It's too hard. It's very, very difficult."

Demonstrators are holding an evening march at the Federal Building at 880 Front St. in downtown San Diego. They plan to make their way through downtown streets to the McDonald's on Park Blvd., near City College.

10News Reporter Emily Thode is reporting live from the march. You can watch her report on ABC10 and on our Facebook page.