Port Workers Go on Strike (Update)
(Update 9:50 a.m.): Union officials say they have officially shut down the Port of Oakland. A press conference is being held this morning.
Amid the morning rain, hundreds of union workers were at the picket line at 6 a.m. sharp as part of a 24-hour strike, attempting to shut down the Port of Oakland and get executives back at the bargaining table.
The port's plumbers, janitors, and electricians, all represented by SEIU Local 1021, kicked off the strike last night at the Oakland International Airport, fighting what they call "unfair labor attacks." They say port executives have violated California State Law by withholding vital financial information from the union.
See also: Port of Oakland Workers to Strike Today
"The executives are making changes while in bargaining and refusing to go to the table to bargain in good faith," the union said in a statement this morning.
Labor leaders authorized this strike, as port workers have been without a contract for the last 17 months. Meanwhile, the port has been under media scrutiny after Omar Benjamin stepped down as the port's director amid allegations he used public funds to have a little too much fun at strip clubs.
Workers kicked off the picket line at the Oakland Airport last night -- just in time for the Thanksgiving travel crush. However, both union reps and port officials claim the average person (that's you) and traveling public won't be affected by any of this.
"While we are doing everything in our power to avert labor actions, we want to assure all of our partners -- business, community, government, and labor -- that the Port is focused on maintaining the continuity of our business operations," said Port of Oakland Acting Executive Director Deborah Ale Flint. "We've been prepared for this type of action and still hope to resolve the potential conflict."