While all attention in the Bay Area has been focused on the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) strike, which brought massive traffic jams to Bay Area freeways this morning, thousands of Oakland City workers are out on a one-day "shot-across-the-bow" work stoppage.
Their issues are similar to BART workers and should be familar to almost everyone with a job these days: takebacks and pay cuts imposed in the Great Recession coupled with inflation have caused City workers to have an effective loss of 25% of their wage purchasing power since 2008. They're not going to stand for it any more. As the chants have been ringing out
But City Management doesn't think enough is nearly enough. They want to continue imposing takebacks on health benefits and pensions while offering nothing more than cost of living increases. All the while insisting that they need to train and hire large numbers of new Oakland Police who make, on average (with overtime and benefits), at least three times what other city employees make while costing the City of Oakland millions in civil rights lawsuit settlements, far more per capita than any other major city in California.
Community organizations have come out today in support of City workers: The Justice 4 Alan Blueford Coalition, ACCE, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Fight for $15 (Living Wage), Occupiers and likely members of other groups have all been walking the picket lines at times with union members from SEIU Local 1021 and IFPTE Local 21 at various locations around the city.
Here's some select tweet-pictures from today's activities.
Most City of Oakland services have been stopped because of a one-day strike by unions representing 2,470 employees: http://t.co/...— ABC7 News (@abc7newsBayArea) July 1, 2013
Labor Hella <3 Oakland Strike pic.twitter.com/qURrT3Njr2— The Spectre of Scott (@OakScott) July 1, 2013
The front door of Oakland City Hall, facing Oscar Grant Plaza
14th and Broadway pic.twitter.com/p28iRK4Tgd— The Spectre of Scott (@OakScott) July 1, 2013
Workers and activists took over 14th & Broadway,
downtown Oakland's main intersection
striker just tol me, "it took a long time, but occupy finally inspired union to get off its ass."— Jaime Omar Yassin (@hyphy_republic) July 1, 2013
Totally worth getting up at 4AM http://t.co/...— Alyssa (@alyssa011968) July 1, 2013
Deanna Santana Oakland's Chevy is driving around trying to find way to get in2City Hall. Oakland City workers not having it.— Alyssa (@alyssa011968) July 1, 2013
Hey, hey! ho ho Deanna Santana has got to go!! pic.twitter.com/bI3n1KCN1L— Alyssa (@alyssa011968) July 1, 2013
Deanna Santana is Oakland's City Manager,
who has stonewalled negotiations for months.
"Get your service from the mayor, the city is closed!"— The Spectre of Scott (@OakScott) July 1, 2013
Shutting down a parking lot whilst getting their groove on pic.twitter.com/WUHrVR8MT2— The Spectre of Scott (@OakScott) July 1, 2013
Bart offered workers $1 a year!! they r not having it - bart paying out of state consultant $400,000 pic.twitter.com/XaJhsLyt9A— Alyssa (@alyssa011968) July 1, 2013
Noon rally at Oscar Grant Plaza amphitheater in front of City Hall
It's a beautiful day to build solidarity & connections w/yr community! #OaklandStrike— Bri. (@zuchinno) July 1, 2013
The banner moves in mysterious ways...