Update: May Day Demonstrations Underway As Union Workers Stage One Day Strikes

By: Ja'Mein Beale - Tue, 01 May 2012 15:44:43 -0800

REGIONAL (KRON)--Ferry workers, nurses and other union members have come together Tuesday to take part in May Day labor protests across the region. 
Ferry service was shut down between Marin County and San Francisco Tuesday morning as ferry workers took part in a one-day strike over contract negotiations. Protests officially got underway at 5:30 a.m. with a rally at the Golden Gate Bridge. However, officials say they have no plans to shut down the Golden Gate Bridge to traffic. 
"We ask supporters to stand with us at strike picket lines on May Day and to keep the bridge open," said Alex Tonisson, an organizer and co-chair of the Golden Gate Bridge Labor Coalition.
According to officials ferry service is expected to resume at 2 p.m Tuesday with normal service scheduled for Wednesday. 
Meanwhile nurses at 10 Northern California hospitals have also walked off the job as part of  a one-day  strike against Sutter Health. The strike, which kicked off at 7 a.m, coincides with Occupy and other planned May Day demonstrations.
The nurses are protesting changes in paid sick leave and health care premiums proposed by Sutter as part of contract talks. Tuesday's strike would be the  third by Sutter nurses since September.
The affected hospitals include Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Berkeley and Oakland and Mills-Peninsula Health Services hospitals in Burlingame and San Mateo. Sutter has brought in replacement nurses and hospitals will remain open although elective procedures could be rescheduled.
Meanwhile marches and rallies are underway in Oakland and San Francisco as the labor groups merge with Occupy demonstrators.  In Oakland, a march is planned for  3 p.m. at the Fruitvale BART station, and demonstrators are expected to converge at Frank Ogawa  Plaza around 6 p.m. 
Stay tuned to KRON 4 and KRON.com for complete coverage of the May Day protests.
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