Starting tonight and following months of fruitless labor negotiations, workers employed by the Port of Oakland will strike for 24 hours with a picket at Terminal 1 of the Oakland International Airport. On Tuesday, they plan to picket the Port’s maritime terminals. Because other unions crucial to the Port’s operations such as the ILWU longshore workers will not cross picket lines, it’s likely the strike will disrupt operations at both the airport and marine terminals, effectively shutting down the movement of millions of dollars’ worth of goods.
The strike comes after sixteen months of failed talks between the Port and the major unions that represent its employees. SEIU 1021, which represents 223 of the Port’s 474 full-time employees has been without a contract since June 30, 2011. The same is true for the Western Council of Engineers and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 1245, which represent 38 and 36 workers, respectively. The fourth union, the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers Local 21, which represents 154 workers, has been without a contract since June 30 of this year.