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

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

RALLY THIS FRIDAY! (10/26)
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!

TAKE ACTION NOW!

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


Background

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!

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!

In These Times: Workers Try to Organize Airport Subway, Get Fired

OAKLAND, CA—This city is supposed to be a union town, but out at the airport, workers say they’re getting fired for trying to join one. The airport is administered by the Oakland Port Commission, whose members, appointed by the mayor, are mostly viewed as progressives. The commission has passed a living wage ordinance that not only sets a level much higher than state or national minimum wage laws, but also requires companies who rent space to respect the labor rights of their workers.

One of the workers fired recently is Hakima Arhab, who says she lost her job at the Subway concession after she complained about violations of the ordinance, and because she and her coworkers are trying to join UNITE HERE Local 2850.

Arhab told her story to Working In These Times:

I worked at Subway for a year and a half. When I got the job there I thought that I would have a better life. It should be a good job. I thought I’d have more money, and be able to afford a few more things for myself, and be able to send money to my home country, because I have family there. When I started at the airport I was getting $12.82 an hour, and then it went up to $13.05. Read the full article.

East Bay Express: Workers Allege Violations at Oakland Airport

The port and other governmental agencies are actively investigating several airport concessionaires for alleged wage, overtime, anti-union violations.

by Rachel Swan

Oakland’s 2002 living wage ordinance had honorable intentions: to provide family-sustaining jobs at the city’s port. Originally it applied only to businesses with twenty or more employees, but the port amended it in 2006 to cover a much broader swath of the maritime and aviation industry — including all businesses run by Oakland Airport’s primary contractor, HMSHost, and any subcontractor that signed a lease after 2006, regardless of size. The idea was not only to make sure a voter-approved ordinance had teeth, but also to ensure that port businesses hewed to the spirit of the law, and not just the letter.

Unfortunately, some businesses don’t share that vision: The operator of a See’s Candies franchise still refuses to abide by the living wage ordinance, citing a loophole that she says grandfathers her in. There is also evidence that a Subway franchise is violating overtime laws by assigning employees to work consecutive shifts at the airport sandwich shop and at a nearby gas station it owns, with no overtime pay. As of two weeks ago, Subway had also fired two of its workers, allegedly for union activity.

In fact, workers have filed a whole litany of complaints against the eight sublessee concessionaires at Oakland International Airport, some of which they expressed during a spirited public comment session at the July 26 Port Commission meeting. Complaints filed with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement accuse Subway of stiffing workers on overtime and ten-minute breaks, and of circumventing overtime laws by having employees clock in at different Subway locations — i.e., at Oakland Airport and the one on Washington Avenue, which are both owned by Navdeep and Gurinder Grewal. The Grewals referred all questions to their attorney, Michael Foster, who was unavailable for comment. Read the full article.