Price cut leads to crabber strike

I remember, as a little kid, having a “Don’t Bother Me, I’m Crabby” shirt.

As cheesy — and I’m talking seriously cheesy — as it sounds, the play on words might as well be splayed across the chests of San Francisco crabbers.

In the heat of a proposed price cut on the delectable shelled creature, San Francisco crabbers are striking. Trouble started Sunday after Bay Area crabbers learned that fish brokers were expecting to cut the price of crab from $3 per pound to a mere $1.80.

The steep cut led to hundreds of boats staying in harbor Wednesday as a sign of strike. Local fisherman Rich Fitzpatrick told the Chronicle:

“This is hard work. Why should we take a pay cut?”

Striking over the cost of Dungeness crab isn’t a new phenomenon, mind you. Crabbers went on strike last year until well after Thanksgiving to ensure that they got the pay they want, the Chronicle says.

The holiday season typically lends itself to higher demand for Dungeness crab, and a strike has retailers such as Whole Foods — who only sell their crab fresh — a little nervous.

Last year’s strike affected the amount of crab in supermarkets; the current strike, while only a day old, is already having an impact.

Larry Collins, president of the Crab Boat Owners Association in San Francisco, told the Chronicle the dispute may last just a few days. But there is still no word on if the two sides are even close to an agreement.