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For Immediate Release
November 19, 2012

Normal Operations Expected at Oakland International Airport During Union Action Today and Tuesday, Nov. 20

However, Port Expresses Concern on Impact to Shipping, Finances, and Jobs by Union Picketing

Oakland, CA—November 19, 2012— Port of Oakland officials today said that a labor action starting tonight and running through tomorrow by Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1021 will not impact travel or air services at Oakland International Airport. SEIU Local 1021 represents Port employees primarily in the janitorial, custodial and maintenance fields.

“While we are doing everything in our power to avert labor actions, we want to assure all of our partners – business, community, government, and labor – that the Port is focused on maintaining the continuity of our business operations,” said Port of Oakland Acting Executive Director Deborah Ale Flint.

The Port did express concern that union picketing efforts in the Port’s maritime area could result in economic losses to both the Port and union employees. The Port is attempting to speak with union leaders to dissuade them from the labor action, Port officials said.

“We’ve been prepared for this type of action and still hope to resolve the potential conflict, ” said Ale Flint. “While the labor action at the airport will not have a major impact, union picketing at our container facility could cause economic hardship to the Port and to union employees not just on the day of the action, but in terms of future long-term business agreements.”

“The Port of Oakland is seeking sustainable labor contracts with SEIU to preserve good-paying jobs. We are asking all of our unions to share in the process of getting the Port on a path to long-term sustainability and global competitiveness,” Ale Flint added. The Port negotiated in good faith and reached a tentative agreement with SEIU 1021 for a new contract in March 2012, which had the following elements: preserved jobs, and no furloughs; preserved above average salaries vs. comparable agencies and classifications; employees would begin making a 5% contribution to their own retirement, as the Port currently pays the 8% employee share as well as the employer share of retirement costs. That agreement was rejected by the membership.

Within two weeks, a mutually-agreed-upon arbitrator is scheduled to begin the non-binding fact-finding phase of impasse proceedings between the Port and SEIU because Local 1021 members rejected the Tentative Agreement reached at the bargaining table in March. The meetings with the arbitrator are scheduled for Nov. 29, 30 and Dec. 3.

About the Port of Oakland: 
The Port of Oakland oversees the Oakland seaport, Oakland International Airport, and 20 miles of waterfront. The Oakland seaport is the fifth busiest container port in the U.S.; Oakland International Airport is the second largest San Francisco Bay Area airport offering over 300 daily passenger and cargo flights; and the Port’s real estate includes commercial developments such as Jack London Square and hundreds of acres of public parks and conservation areas. Together, through Port operations and those of its tenants and users, the Port supports more than 73,000 jobs in the region and nearly 827,000 jobs across the United States. The Port of Oakland was established in 1927 and is an independent department of the City of Oakland. Connect with the Port of Oakland and Oakland International Airport through Facebook, or with the Port on TwitterYouTube and atwww.portofoakland.com.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Robert Bernardo
Communications Manager
Port of Oakland
(510) 627-1401
rbernardo@portoakland.com

Marilyn Sandifur
Port Spokesperson
Port of Oakland
(510) 627-1193
msandifur@portoakland.com

 

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