Sign the Boycott Pledge!

Since June 2012, workers at non-union food service subcontractors in the Oakland Airport have been speaking out about violations of local, state and federal labor laws at their workplaces. They are calling for a fair process to decide whether to join a union, free from retaliation. The subcontractors have not agreed – and several of them have fired workers, cut their hours, and worked with the Port of Oakland to sanction workers for standing up for their rights. Now, UNITE HERE and workers are calling for a boycott of the non-union subcontractors at the airport, starting on Friday, August 31st. Join us and pledge your support!

Fri, 8/3: Join fired OAK workers on the picket line!

Friday, August 3, 11 am – 1 pm
Oakland Airport Terminal 2

Hakima Arhab and Bikram Thapa, workers at the Oakland Airport Subway, were recently FIRED after they spoke out against unfair working conditions at the airport. Both Hakima and Bikram had recently filed claims against Subway for violations of state and local labor laws. Bikram participated in a July 6th airport picket organized by UNITE HERE Local 2850, and Hakima had appeared in flyers and videos calling on her co-workers to fight for justice on the job.

“I used to work 12-hour days at Subway, with no overtime pay. I started telling my co-workers that we had to speak out and stop Subway from breaking the law. All of a sudden, my boss said he had no work for me,” says Hakima. “Now I’m fighting to get my job back and to make sure no one else is treated like I was in the Oakland Airport.”

Join Hakima, Bikram and their co-workers for a picket of non-union food service subcontractors at the Oakland Airport!

For questions or rides, contact Lian Alan at [email protected] or 510-219-6491.

BACKGROUND: In early July, workers from eight non-union food service subcontractors at the Oakland Airport launched a public campaign for justice on the job. They filed claims against employers for numerous violations of federal, state and local labor laws. They also demanded a fair process to decide whether to join a union without interference from their bosses.

On July 19, Oakland Airport Subway owner Navdeep Grewal fired Bikram Thapa and Hakima Arhab, both of whom had filed claims for labor law violations and participated in activities organized by UNITE HERE Local 2850. Last Thursday, Hakima, Bikram, and other workers called on the Port Commission to investigate labor abuses at Subway and other food service subcontractors. The Port theoretically requires employers in the airport to comply with all applicable labor laws and prohibits retaliation against workers who file complaints. But so far, the Port has not taken any action to address the workers’ concerns. In fact, the Port actually issued citations to several workers for entering the airport on their days off to speak with their employers about problems on the job.

The non-union workers have gotten support from other airport food service workers who are members of Local 2850. “Because I have a union job, I have health care for my son – and I can’t get fired for no reason just because my boss is mad at me,” says snack bar attendant Rehnaaz Nisha. “I think everyone who works in OUR airport should get the same opportunity as me.”

7/26: Fired Airport Whistle-blowers Speak Out!

Port Commission to Hear from Food Service Workers Fired After Reporting Labor Law Violations


Who: Hakima Arhab and Bikram Thapa, Oakland Airport Subway employees recently fired after they filed claims against Subway for violations of state and local labor laws; other airport food service workers; UNITE HERE Local 2850.

What: Hakima, Bikram and their co-workers will address the Oakland Port Commission, urging them to investigate and take action against airport food service subcontractors who have fired whistle-blowers.

When: Thursday, July 26. Workers will gather at 4:30 pm and enter the Port Commission meeting at 5 pm.

Where: Port of Oakland, 530 Water Street, Oakland.

Why: In early July, workers from eight non-union food service subcontractors at the Oakland Airport launched a public campaign for justice on the job. They filed claims against employers for numerous violations of federal, state and local labor laws. They also demanded a fair process to decide whether to join a union without interference from bosses.

In the past week, the Oakland Airport Subway owner Navdeep Grewal fired Bikram Thapa and Hakima Arhab, both of whom had filed claims for labor law violations. Bikram also participated in a July 6th rally outside the airport, organized by UNITE HERE Local 2850. Hakima had appeared in flyers and videos urging her co-workers to stand up for their rights.

“I used to work 12-hour days at Subway. I had no health care – I didn’t even get the breaks, overtime pay, or paid sick days we are supposed to get by law. I started telling my co-workers that we had to speak out and stop Subway from breaking the law. Now, all of a sudden, my boss has no work for me,” said Arhab.

This Thursday, Hakima, Bikram, and other workers will call on the Port Commission to investigate labor abuses at Subway and other food service subcontractors. The Port theoretically requires employers in the airport to comply with all applicable labor laws and prohibits retaliation against workers who file complaints. But so far, the Port has not taken any action to address the workers’ concerns. In fact, the Port actually disciplined several workers for entering the airport on their days off to speak with their employers about problems on the job.

The non-union workers will be joined by other airport food service workers who are members of UNITE HERE Local 2850. “Because I have a union job, I have health care for my son – and I can’t get fired for no reason just because my boss is mad at me,” said snack bar attendant Rehnaaz Nisha. “I think everyone who works in OUR airport should get the same opportunity as me.”

7/6/12: We Fly for Justice at OAK!

Rally for Good Jobs at OAK!
Friday, July 6, 11 am – 1 pm
Oakland Airport Terminal 2

MY NAME IS LIAM. I’m 24. This is my wife Erica and our 4-year-old daughters Li’ah and Li’eriah.

I work at the Subway in the Oakland Airport, and other Subway locations under the same managers. I WORK SEVEN DAYS A WEEK. Sometimes I go 2 months without a day off. I’ve never seen a dime of overtime. I barely have time to see my kids.

I HAVE NO HEALTH BENEFITS. When my girls get sick, I’m praying they get better on their own because I can’t take them to the doctor.

There are about 80 workers like me, employees of non-union food service subtenants at OAK. Airport food service workers that are union members get health care, fair schedules and RESPECT. We don’t have any of that. WE’RE LIKE THE SECOND-CLASS CITIZENS OF THE AIRPORT.

Now we are organizing to demand our rights! We want our bosses to agree to a fair process for us to decide if we want to join the union.

My managers found out I was organizing my co-workers. Within the week, they’d cut my regular work hours, taken me off the schedule for two days, and given me a final warning. But that didn’t stop me.

My co-workers and I are standing up for a better life. STAND WITH US!

Background on workers at the Oakland Airport

Holiday Inn Concord: New Name, Same Grinch Tactics

Workers sing carols; ask hotel to show holiday spirit by restoring health benefits.

When: Thursday December 16, 4:45pm- 6:15pm.

Where: Holiday Inn Concord, 1050 Burnett Ave Concord CA.

What: Holiday Inn Concord workers sing carols for justice, calling on the hotel to show compassion over the holidays by restoring affordable health benefits for workers’ families.

“Even though our hotel’s name is changing to Red Lion, the managers are still the same Grinches who took away our families’ affordable health insurance. Whatever they call themselves, the whole community will keep boycotting them till they give back our health care,” said Brian King, Holiday Inn Concord server.

Visuals: Workers singing holiday carols for justice at the front door of the hotel, 8-foot Grinch puppet, holiday food and beverages.
Background: In late December 2010, the Holiday Inn Concord will change franchises and become the Red Lion Hotel Concord. The owners and management company, Elite Concord LLC, remain the same. Elite Concord been embroiled in a long dispute with its union workers, who are members of UNITE HERE Local 2850.

In July 2009, management imposed its “Last and Final” proposal on workers, placing healthcare costs for families at over $730/ month. Holiday Inn Concord workers called for a boycott of their own hotel in March of 2009. The boycott will remain in effect, regardless of the name change, for as long as workers continue to fight for a fair contract and affordable medical benefits. Workers hold regular pickets early in the morning and in the evenings outside the hotel and contact clients to let them know how the hotel has put health care out of reach for their families.

Contact: Lian Alan, 510-219-6491- [email protected]

Candlelight Procession at Castlewood

Saturday, December 18 · 4:30pm – 7:30pm
Castlewood Dr between Foothill Rd and Pleasanton-Sunol Rd
Pleasanton, CA

Join locked-out Castlewood Country Club workers for a candlelight procession to call on the Club to let the workers return to work in time for the holiday season. Come share holiday treats, songs and a posada (Mexican Christmas pageant). Bring a toy to share with workers’ children!

Please also consider making a donation to the workers’ hardship fund. Donations make great holiday gifts! Checks can be made out to the Alameda Labor Council, with “Castlewood” in the memo line, and sent to 100 Hegenberger Road, Suite 150, Oakland, CA 94621.

This Christmas will mark Castlewood workers’ tenth month on lockout. “First my managers tried to make health care so expensive that I’d have to drop my kids from the plan. Then they locked us out and told us they’d only let us come back if we voted out our union. Then they told us that they liked their temporary workers better than us, and wanted to be able to lay us off and keep them working in the future,” said cook Angel Melendez. “Through it all, we have stayed strong and found that we have more friends that we ever imagined. That gives us strength to keep on fighting till we win a contract that’s fair for our families.” (Photo by David Bacon.)

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