Port of Oakland workers start 24-hour strike


As of 11 p.m. Monday the workers stationed themselves outside of the employee entrances and there were no problems reported.

The union says it has no intention of disrupting air travel at the Oakland airport. Its main target is the maritime port where it hopes to stop it from generating an average of $6 million a day. The strike at the Port of Oakland begins at 6 a.m. Tuesday.

The port authority is asking the union to make a 5-percent contribution to their own retirement fund, but the union says this strike was called because of unfair labor practices. They claim the port has been withholding financial information they've been requesting for bargaining purposes.

"All of our financials are fully available on line and we've been fully transparent in working with them and answered all of their questions. We've negotiated in good faith the entire period," said Isaac Kos-Read from the Port of Oakland.

"They have this arrogant attitude that they think they can get away with anything, and they withheld this information. We requested and requested, and so we go on strike and now they'll send it to us," said Steve Gilbert from the SEIU bargaining team.

The union says the package of documents they've been requesting was delivered Monday. SEIU is hoping the other port unions, like the teamsters, will honor their strike and they're expecting at least 400 union members to block trucks from entering the port, starting at 6 a.m.

Occupy Oakland members have announced they will join the strike in solidarity, but union leaders tell me they're concerned that Occupy Oakland members may try to hijack the whole event and become a distraction. So they've hired their own security to keep the peace.

For further strike details, go to www.seiu1021.org/node/35122.

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