News on Oakland Airport concession workers struggling for justice on the job.

Merry Christmas: Airport Strike on Hold

Strike at Oakland Airport on Hold as Progress Made in Food and Retail Contract Negotiations

UNITE HERE Local 2850, the union that represents two hundred fast food and retail employees of HMS Host at the Oakland International Airport, has put holiday season strike plans on hold as progress is made in contract negotiations. HMS Host operates food and retail concessions at Oakland Airport under various brand names, including Starbucks, Chili’s, Max’s Eatz and California Pizza Kitchen.

“My coworkers and I are hopeful that we can come to an agreement without the need for a strike but we remain united and ready to strike for a fair contract if needed. For me, maintaining affordable family medical for my family and especially my newborn daughter is worth fighting for,” said Michael Romulo, a cook at California Pizza Kitchen at the Oakland Airport, operated by HMS Host.

On November 14, 2012, UNITE HERE Local 2850 members working at the Oakland Airport took a strike authorization vote. The results were conclusive and overwhelming, demonstrating the workers’ commitment to fight for a fair contract. By a unanimous tally of 134 – 0, Oakland Airport food and retail workers voted to authorize a strike if necessary.

The Union is cautiously optimistic about the progress that has been made in negotiations over the HMS Host workers’ new contract, but important issues remain unresolved, including the cost of health care. While the UNITE HERE Local 2850 members at the airport have decided not to strike for the time being, workers remain ready to do so if necessary.

For More Information contact: Lian Alan at 510-219-6491 or Wei-Ling Huber at 510-219-6434.

Oakland Airport Workers Ready to Strike!

Oakland Airport Workers Ready to Strike!

Help us Make Picket Signs!

Tuesday, December 18, 6:00 – 8:00PM

ILWU Local 6 Union Hall, 99 Hegenberger Rd

Oakland Airport concessions workers have given HMS Host until the end of the day on Thursday, December 20 to come to a fair agreement in contract negotiations. Otherwise, Host workers will be ready to strike beginning on Friday.

So far in contract talks, HMS Host has proposed several significant takeaways.  These include having the employees pay for all increases in the cost for family medical coverage,  eliminating employees’ paid meal breaks, and freezing employees’ wages for the length of the contract.

We can’t tell you in advance the exact day workers may be going on strike. However, we will be able to tell you on the day of through email and Facebook. You can also pay attention to the news to hear about what is happening.

We will be holding a 12 noon rally as well as a 6pm rally outside the airport any day that workers are on strike. We need members of the community to show solidarity with the workers!

Thank you to all who have been out to our rallies and stood with the workers in their struggle for justice.  We hope you and your family enjoy the holiday season.

And of course, if we’re on strike when you fly through Oakland Airport, please avoid any struck shops and patronize Andale and Firewood instead – both have current contracts covering their employees.

Rally this Thursday at Port of Oakland!

THIS THURSDAY!  Rally and Speak-Out

December 6, 4:00-5:30pm

Port of Oakland—540 Water Street

We will come together at the Port Commissioners meeting to, once again, tell the stories of the non-union food service workers at the Oakland Airport.

Union and non-union workers are standing together.  Come join us in the fight for justice.

Update on the Campaign

Non-union food service workers at the Oakland Airport continue to seek a fair process to decide if they want to form a union.  They have called for a boycott of their shops, and have participated in several rallies over the past few months to bring attention to injustices and retaliatory firings.  Workers have filed grievances with all levels of government, and met directly with Port Commissioners to stress the urgency of the situation.

At the same time, UNITE HERE Local 2850 members working in food and retail service at the Oakland Airport have been in ongoing contract negotiations with HMS Host.  Host has proposed a number of takeaways already.  On November 12, workers voted 134-0 to authorize a strike if necessary to win a fair contract.

Janitors and clerical workers represented by SEIU Local 1021 were in their own contract fight for a long time at the Port of Oakland.  Our members have stood with them in solidarity, and this past week the workers represented by SEIU won a fair contract.

Union and non-union workers are standing together to fight for a better future at the Oakland Airport.   These fights are about ensuring that jobs at the Airport are secure, good quality jobs, and that Airport workers are treated with respect and dignity.

Si se puede!

UNITE HERE! Local 2850

Airport Leader Fired! Rally on Friday

11 am – 1:30 pm
Oakland Airport Terminal 2

Joseph Cook, the owner of Jamba Juice at the Oakland Airport, fired union supporter Danielle Ramsey and disciplined one of her co-workers, Mesha Adams, earlier this month in what workers believe is a continuing pattern of antagonism towards them for standing up for their rights at work. Tell Oakland Airport Jamba Juice Owner Joseph Cook that we stand with Danielle!


1) Call Joseph Cook at Centennial Management Corporation, 707-642-7562.

Mr. Cook does not have a direct extension, so please speak with Office Manager Kathy Madison at extension 303 and ask her to convey your message.

Sample call script: Hi, Ms. Madison. My name is ______ and I am calling from _______ for Joseph Cook. I wanted to voice my alarm at the recent actions Mr. Cook has taken against his workers at the Oakland Airport Jamba Juice, and to express my ongoing support for Danielle Ramsey, Mesha Adams and their co-workers. I will be honoring the boycott the workers have called for, until Mr. Cook gives Danielle her job back and agrees to a fair process for his workers to decide whether they want a union. The Oakland community will not stand idly by and watch as Mr. Cook undermines our core values of dignity and respect on the job. I’m urging Mr. Cook to do what’s right for his workers and Oakland.

Please email us at: [email protected] to let us know if you make a call. Thanks!
2) March with Danielle and her co-workers on Friday Oct 26th from 11am to 1:30pm at Oakland International Airport Terminal 2 to educate the community about the retaliation and demand justice for Danielle and other fired workers now!

See the Facebook event.
3) Sign the Boycott Pledge if you haven’t already


On June 27th 2012, non-union concession workers at the Oakland Airport, including Danielle, several of her Jamba Juice co-workers, and workers from the other non-union concessions locations in the Airport, announced to their employers that they were seeking a fair process to decide whether to join a union. Around the same time, Danielle and Mesha filed charges against Jamba Juice for violations of the Oakland living wage ordinance. Since then workers have continued to seek a fair process to decide whether to have a union and have called on consumers to boycott the non-union concessions locations at the airport, including Jamba Juice.

Since Jamba Juice workers stood up for themselves, Jamba Juice has mounted an aggressive campaign toward its workers. Jamba Juice has sought security sanctions against workers who initially raised the issues in June, disciplined or fired workers, cut hours, and required workers to sit through anti-union captive audience meetings.

Stand with Danielle, Mesha and the rest of their Jamba Juice co-workers and tell Jamba Juice owners and management that Oakland won’t stand for these unjust practices. We hope to see you on Friday Oct 26th, from 11-1:30pm at the Oakland Airport Terminal 2 for an Action for Justice!

8/31: Labor Day Airport Action + Boycott Launch!

Friday, August 31, 11 am – 1 pm
Oakland Airport Terminal 2

Over the past two months, non-union food service workers at the Oakland Airport have been standing up for justice on the job. They’ve filed claims alleging violations of state and local labor laws, and demanded a fair process to decide whether to join a union, free from employer intimidation. Check out great coverage of the campaign from the East Bay Express, In These Times, and KPFA!

Since workers went public with their demands, Hakima Arhab and Bikram Thapa – both Subway employees active in the campaign – were fired. Other workers have seen their hours cut, or have received citations from the Port of Oakland for coming into the airport on their days off to speak with their employers about problems on the job. The Port, the State of California, and the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board are investigating claims about violations of the law. But in the meantime, workers are continuing their struggle for fairness and dignity – and are calling for a consumer boycott of their employers (see below for a complete list).

Join UNITE HERE 2850 and airport workers for a Labor Day action to launch the boycott!


Check out our new airport campaign page to learn more about the workers and their stories!

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

Workers are calling on airport consumers not to patronize the following businesses until they agree to a fair process for employees to decide whether to be represented by a union:

• See’s Candies
• Auntie Anne’s Pretzels
• Gordon Biersch
• Jamba Juice
• Subway
• Otaez
• Burger King
• World Passage Duty Free
• Silver Dragon
• Tech Showcase

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!