SEIU workers strike Tuesday at the Port of Oakland and the Oakland International Airport over what they say are unfair labor practices. Christie Smith reports.
Several hundred of port workers and supporters were out Tuesday morning striking over what they say are "unfair labor" practices the Port of Oakland.
Spokeswoman Anna Bakalis said Workers represented by SEIU Local 1021 are fighting against unfair labor attacks from port executives, who workers claim have violated California State Law by withholding vital financial information from the union, unilaterally making changes while in bargaining and refusing to go to the table to bargain in good faith.
The port strikers were spread out over 15 gates at the port on Tuesday. The strike actually began at Oakland International Airport on Monday night, because the SEIU workers are part of the same union working without a contract for 17 months.
In a statement, port spokesman Isaac Kos Read said, "It is unfortunate that these actions are targeting the very businesses that help the port generate the revenue that allows us to pay above average compensation and offer such generous benefits."
He also stated: "We are seeking to minimize further impacts to this port and our partners, which together generate over 73,000 jobs in the region, over $600 million in annual tax revenue, as well as payments of $14 million a year to the City of Oakland."
As for disruptions, he said the port was being affected on Tuesday with longshore workers and truckers not being able to get to work, but that the airport was operating normally "despite the strike action."
While the traveling public will not be affected by the strike, workers there will be holding a picket line at the Oakland Airport while hundreds more will strike at the harbor all day Tuesday, effectively shutting down the Port.
Port workers include more than 200 employees at the Port and the Oakland Airport, including janitors, electricians, plumbers, painters, security officers and maintenance workers who protect, repair and do clerical work for the Port of Oakland. Workers are demanding that port executives go back to the table to bargain a contract with workers.