Politics

Phil Matier: Job Battle At The Heart Of Oakland Base Redevelopment

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Port Of Oakland

Port of Oakland. (CBS)

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OAKLAND (KCBS) – A battle is brewing on the jobs front in Oakland, this after the city has reportedly struck a deal with the company developing the former Oakland Army Base into a facility benefiting the Port of Oakland.

The city and developer, California Capital & Investment Group, have agreed to give Oakland residents 50 percent of the construction jobs and one of the key components is that applications won’t ask about a person’s criminal record.

KCBS, CBS 5 and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier:

The intention of Oakland is to keep as many jobs local as possible. But a faction of city leaders and residents also wants the rules of Oakland employment applied at the site as well. That includes hiring local as much as possible and also to “ban the box.” That would require that builders and managers down the line can’t ask on applications if people have a criminal history.

Many are arguing that that was part of what Oakland Mayor Jean Quan promised, hiring those that are in most need of a job. But the question remains whether warehouse operators down the line would want to apply the same rules that developers would agree to under the plan.

There is a lot hanging on the Oakland City Council as well, especially with business booming in nearby Emeryville, where box stores and retail outlets continue to pop up.

The problem is that if there is no agreement, the space will remain vacant with no development.

You can hear Phil Matier’s comments Monday through Friday at 7:50am and 5:50pm on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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