City of Oakland Leaders and Negotiators have refused Pre-Impasse Mediation and Mayor Willie Brown’s Offer to Mediate Contract Talks
Oakland City workers represented by SEIU Local 1021 and IFPTE Local 21, more than 3,000 workers in total, will go on strike Tuesday, December 5th. The more than 2,000 workers represented by SEIU 1021 will strike in protest of the City’s unfair labor practices, with IBEW 1245 honoring their picket lines. The nearly 1,000 City workers represented by IFPTE 21 will be on sympathy strike.
Earlier today, the three unions proposed postponing a strike action if the City of Oakland negotiators agreed to offer to enter informal, pre-impasse mediation with the help of former Assembly Speaker and Mayor Willie Brown,
Chief negotiator for SEIU Local 1021 Rob Szykowny expressed the workers’ disappointment in the City’s decision to leave workers no other choice but to strike: “Oakland workers want to go to work tomorrow, but after working without a contract since June, and the City committing unfair labor practices in bargaining and towards our members at work, they are willing to strike. Furthermore, the City still refuses to prioritize the health and safety challenges facing Oakland residents and workers. ”
At issue in these negotiations are unfair labor practices, understaffed departments, vacancy and retention problems, health and safety issues for the community caused by a shortage of illegal dumping crews and mandatory overtime for emergency dispatchers, and an increasing reliance on temporary part time employees to service the growing city.
IFPTE Local 21 member Waliana Dieu echoed SEIU Local 1021’s Chief Negotiator’s disappointment and said, “ Our workers staff vital City departments, like the City’s crime labs, and our communities deserve a commitment from City leaders that they’re willing to prioritize services to the public and respect their workers.”
Michael Patterson, Chief Steward of IBEW 1245, the union representing City of Oakland electricians added, “As City of Oakland residents and workers, we’re united in getting City leaders to prioritize the issues that are impacting community services.”
Oakland workers will be striking starting at 7am, Tuesday, December 5th. Picket lines will be up throughout the city, including the Equipment Services Facility at 7101 Edgewater Drive
at Oakland City Hall. The sanctioned strike will continue in front of Mayor Libby Schaaf’s re-election fundraiser hosted by Oakland’s top developers and property owners.