Friday, August 30, 2013

Fast Food STRIKE at OAK!

More info from "UNITE HERE! Local 2850" []:

2013-08-30 "Oakland Airport Workers Strike for Justice"
from "California Labor Federation Spotlight" newsletter V289N1:
On the heels of yesterday’s historic fast food workers’ strike, hundreds of Oakland Airport food and concessions workers walked off the job today. The brave workers hope to send a message to their employer, Host, that they need a living wage to survive, and that they strongly object to the hostility and aggressive retaliation the employer has imposed on the airport workers.
“I’m on strike because the Port belongs to Oakland, and our jobs here should support our families and our community.” said Ida Gonzalez, a cashier at Max’s Deli who joined the strike today. “I shouldn’t have to live in poverty to work at the Oakland Airport!”

"Oakland Airport Workers On Strike"
by Jessica Choy from "UNITE HERE 2850" [] []:
Close on the heels of yesterday's historic fast food worker strike, 180 Oakland Airport food and retail workers walked off the job today to protest unfair labor practices by their employer, Host International, including regressive bargaining and a retaliatory lawsuit filed against the union. Host’s most recent proposals would strip away benefits the workers have depended on for years.
Monica Guzman, a retail cashier: "I’m striking because I’ve worked here for 22 years, I raised my family on this job, and now Host wants us to give up the benefits my co-workers and I have fought to protect for all these years."
The workers have been in contract negotiations with Host for the past year. Their wages are already low – retail clerks earn between $9.75 and $12.64 an hour. Host’s latest proposal would gut their contract: drastically reducing vacation and sick days; eliminating pensions, paid meal breaks, and even overtime pay on shifts longer than eight hours; cutting pay for new hires and freezing longtime workers’ wages for five years; and removing workers from the union’s affordable health insurance plan.
Marisol Chavez-Lopez, a cook at Max’s Deli: "I’m striking today because Host doesn’t think we should get overtime pay if we work more than 8 hours. We don’t live in the nineteenth century!"
Re Bun Ly, who has worked at See’s Candy in the airport for 5 years, doesn't have a union, but understands the power of solidarity. "I’m a non-union food worker at the airport, and I make $9 an hour with no health care. I’m marching with the Host workers because I believe that all airport jobs should be good jobs."
The airport workers are joining a growing movement of food and retail workers fighting for better pay and benefits. Fast food workers across the country have organized actions calling for higher minimum wages – including an East-Bay-wide fast food strike on August 29th []. And Walmart workers launched a national strike last May, and are building for an action in San Francisco and several other cities on September 5th.
The workers’ union, UNITE HERE Local 2850, has tried for a year to reach a fair compromise through negotiation – but Host’s proposals have only gotten worse for workers. “We can’t reach a deal if the only movement Host makes is backward,” said Local 2850 President Wei-Ling Huber.
Workers will be on strike starting at 4am on Friday, August 30 with rallies planned for 7am, 12pm, and 5pm. You can find photos and highlights throughout the day on our Facebook page [].

2013-07-12 message from "California Labor Federation":
Rally with Striking Fast Food Workers at Oakland Airport! A year ago, fast food workers at Oakland Airport decided to take a stand for better jobs – including a fair process to decide whether to form a union. Since then, some of the workers have faced serious retaliation, and the National Labor Relations Board just charged two of the airport restaurants with breaking labor laws and firing workers who spoke out.
The Port of Oakland also found that these same employers violated the living wage policy and fired workers who complained about it, but so far, the employers haven’t faced real consequences, and the fired workers have yet to get their jobs back.. On Sunday, the airport fast food workers are launching a one-day strike to protest the management’s unfair labor practices and call for the immediate reinstatement of the fired workers. Show your support for the workers by joining them on the picket line on Sunday; mobilizations will take place at Oakland Airport Terminal 2, Sunday at 7am, noon and 5pm.

Original call-to-action from the workers at Oakland Airport fast food restaurants:
Non-union workers at Oakland Airport fast food restaurants will go on a one-day strike this Sunday - building on the momentum of recent strikes by fast food and Walmart workers around the country. “My bosses cut my hours to punish me for trying to form a union. They fired my co-worker for organizing, and they still haven’t brought her back to work. I’m tired of waiting for justice – I’m ready to fight!” said Oakland Airport Subway cashier Hayat Selmani.
A year ago, airport fast food workers launched a public campaign for better jobs – including a fair process to decide whether to form a union. Some workers have faced serious retaliation: the National Labor Relations Board just charged two OAK restaurants with breaking labor laws and firing workers who spoke out. And the Port of Oakland found that these same employers violated the living wage and fired workers who complained about it. But so far, the employers haven’t faced real consequences.
Now the workers are taking action to protest their bosses’ unfair labor practices. On Sunday, July 14, the workers will strike all day, with mobilizations at Oakland Airport Terminal 2 at 7 am, noon, and 5 pm. It takes a lot of courage for non-union, low-wage workers to go on strike – especially when their co-workers have been fired for organizing. The workers are ready, but they need your support! Please join us on the 14th and support these courageous worker leaders!

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