Oakland workers back on picket line for second day

Bay City News
Wednesday, December 6, 2017
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Roughly 3,000 Oakland city workers say they're striking for a second day Wednesday because of unfair labor practices.

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Roughly 3,000 Oakland city workers say they're striking for a second day Wednesday because of unfair labor practices, and the office of Mayor Libby Schaaf has reportedly failed to reach out to resume negotiations.

The picket lines started up at 7 a.m. at City Hall and the city's equipment services facility at 7101 Edgewater Drive.

The strike includes roughly 2,000 members of Service Employees International Union Local 1021 and roughly 1,000 members of International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers Local 21, who are on a "sympathy strike," according to a statement issued by the striking workers Wednesday morning.

They're protesting low staffing levels, problems retaining employees, as well as community health and safety issues associated with illegal dumping, and a shortage of crews to deal with it. They're also objecting to mandatory overtime for emergency dispatchers -- a group represented by the unions involved -- and reliance on part-time employees.

Labor organizers say the City Council is scheduled to enter into closed session to discuss the strike at 1 p.m.

Union workers plan to issue "passes" allowing councilmembers to cross the picket line.

Mayor Libby Schaaf issued a counter-accusation on Monday, saying the strike is an unfair labor practice unto itself since negotiations are not yet at an impasse.

"We view this strike as unlawful and will file an unfair labor practice charge," Schaaf said.

Programs and facilities that will be closed include:

Head Start and Early Head Start sites

Senior Centers

Public libraries

Recreation centers and programs, including after school programs

Multipurpose Senior Services Program (MSSP): No case management services for frail seniors except for scheduled home visits

No brown bag food distribution

Civic Center buildings: City Hall, 150 and 250 Frank Ogawa Plaza:

Parking Citation Assistance Center closed

Housing Assistance Center closed

No sale of paratransit taxi/bus vouchers

No fire inspections

No Fire Department plan checking and permits

No building inspections

Business Tax License closed

Business Assistance Center closed

Planning & Building Permit Counter closed

Other services that will be unavailable include:

No parking enforcement

No street sweeping

No public restrooms at City facilities

No routine maintenance work

No abandoned auto detail

No crime or traffic reports

For towed vehicles, OPD will provide a vehicle release form at the Police Administration Building, 455 7th Street, 1st floor, Records window.

Oakland's animal shelter will provide limited services during the strike: The Oakland Animal Shelter (OAS) will be open during regular hours for owners looking to reclaim their lost animals and for members of the public who must bring in stray or surrendered animals.

Routine services such as adoptions and licensing will not occur.

Partner agencies will transfer animals from OAS' care so that they may be adopted through alternate channels.

Volunteers will assist management to care for the animals in the shelter.

Calls for emergency response on animal-related matters should be directed to OPD.

Calls for routine services including dead animal pickup, strays, and other non-emergency calls will be delayed for the duration of the strike.

Some services will remain available, including:

Pay a parking citation

Report and track non-emergency problems, such as graffiti, illegal dumping or potholes

Report non-emergency crimes

Renew a residential parking permit

Pay a delinquent garbage bill

Download agenda reports and legislative actions of the City Council

Register for a City of Oakland dog license

Register for Parks and Recreation activities and classes

Review the library's Online Catalog and web-based services