Workers were back on the job this morning after shutting down the Port of Oakland yesterday in a 24-hour strike over unresolved labor negotiations.
Both sides effectively got what they wanted -- by 7 p.m, the Port of Oakland was up and running again, and the union had gotten Port management to agree to resume talks. Both sides will meet on Nov. 30 and Dec. 3 for fact-finding hearings, according to the port.
Mayor Jean Quan was thrilled to report some good news for a change: "Both sides need to come together so that the Port can continue being the economic engine of good jobs that we all need it to be," she said.
Acting Port Executive Director Deborah Ale
Flint said that the Port is "committed to reaching a mutual agreeable
contract, as soon as possible."
"This important step will allow our marine
terminals to reopen for the evening shift, and make sure our truckers
and shippers can get their goods to market on time," she said in a statement last night.
Port plumbers, electricians, and janitors, all represented by SEIU Local 1021, started the strike Monday evening at Oakland International Airport -- just in time for Thanksgiving travel to begin. The strike expanded to the Port on Tuesday morning as hundreds of workers blocked gates, effectively shutting down operations for the entire day. Labor leaders authorized this strike, as port workers have been without a contract for the last 17 months.
Workers say they were fighting what they call "unfair labor attacks." They claim Port executives have violated California State Law by withholding vital financial information from the union. While union leaders were delighted by yesterday's disruption at the Port, their tune changed a bit by Tuesday night.
encouraged that the Port of Oakland has agreed to a path that will
quickly bring us together. We hope to reach a resolution as soon as
possible," said SEIU Local 1021 President Roxanne Sanchez.