SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – Men pay thousands to be part of the Bohemian Club in San Francisco, but some workers are paid less that $15 an hour.
About 100 people who work at the male-only Bohemian Club, whose members are the elitist of the elite, went on a two-day strike.
Bartenders, bussers, cooks, waiters and other employees are on the picket line.
The San Francisco building being picketed on Thursday has no signs, just a plaque with a picture of an owl and the mysterious inscription, “Weaving spiders come not here.”
It is the Bohemian Club, an exclusive playground that includes a restaurant, bar, art gallery and two performing arts theaters.
It’s a home away from home for some of the richest and most powerful people in the city.
But on Thursday, the other half had their say.
Anand Singh, president of UNITE HERE Local 2 said, “When regular San Franciscans see what’s happening at this opulent club in the heart of our city…they’ll say that’s unacceptable. That doesn’t reflect our city’s values.”
About 100 service workers began a two-day walkout to protest low wages.
They’re in negotiations for a new contract. The last one expired 8 years ago.
Longtime server, Cody Afshar, says people may be surprised to learn how little the people who serve the wealthy are paid.
Afshar has worked at the Bohemian Club for 27 years.
“For 27 years they work, for 33 years they work, for 10 years they work. They get $14.11 , $14.50, something like that,” Afshar said.
But Bohemian Club spokesman Sam Singer denies that the service staff is underpaid and says it is the union that is dragging its feet in the negotiations.
Singer said, “This week, we implemented a $2.50 across the board pay increase to all the employees and in some instances even more money. We hope the union gets serious and comes to the table with an economic package, as well as non-economic issues so we can reach an agreement.”
Both sides agree that the workers and members have a good relationship.
This fight is between the union and club management.
But as employees fight for higher wage, in this case, they’re not buying that it would cause an economic hardship.
Afshar said he thinks the Bohemian Club can more than afford to pay for their workers more.