SEIU 1021

We Are Still At the Table with Management, Fighting to Protect Jobs and Prevent Furloughs


Port of Oakland management thinks it’s fair to ask SEIU 1021 members to endure layoffs or up to 16 unpaid furlough days while they sit on more than 70 million dollars in reserves. It’s not fair, and it will make our jobs less safe, and we won’t stand for it.

We understand that times are hard, but we don’t agree that the Port should furlough people or lay them off while refusing to use the reserve fund they have built. They told us that the fund is for “short-term emergency use,” and when we asked if COVID-19 doesn’t count as an emergency in the short term, what would, they answered only that they would not feel “comfortable” using the reserves. We don’t accept their “comfort” as a justification for us possibly losing more than three weeks of pay or even losing our jobs: Our workers are more important than their “comfort.”

We are continuing to work at the table with management. When we meet with them this Wednesday, we will tell them:

  1. Furloughing or laying off the workers who make our ports clean and safe is unacceptable: It would make the effects of the pandemic worse
  2. Furloughs and other cuts can’t be based on old projections: Port management needs to be patient as conditions change and evolve, and we need to see the real numbers and work together to make decisions that are fair for everyone

We are meeting with management on Wednesday afternoon and will report back on that meeting as quickly as possible. In the meantime, we need to stay together and stay strong: if we all stick together, we can make it through these tough times.