OAKLAND (CBS SF) — A union spokesman said Tuesday that nearly 2,000 Oakland city workers plan to begin a one-day strike at 2 p.m. Thursday to protest what they allege are the city’s unfair labor practices.
City workers also said they will picket outside Mayor Libby Schaaf’s “State of the City” address at the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California in Oakland on Thursday evening.
Gabriella Miroglio, a spokeswoman for Service Employees International Union Local 1021, said the union has filed unfair labor practice charges against the city for allegedly changing conditions of employment without bargaining and failing to negotiate in good faith.
Longtime residents and community activists will join city workers as they picket outside Schaaf’s address, Miroglio said.
Union leaders said striking workers and residents will present what they described as the “Real State of Oakland” outside Schaaf’s speech and community organizations will discuss the growing housing crisis and how they believe Oakland leaders need to put promises into action.
Union officials said city workers have been negotiating with the city for fair wages, worksite safety improvements and community welfare for almost six months and said workers will highlight how their understaffed city departments are relying on overworked employees to keep the city running.
Union leaders said the city workers who plan to go on strike include librarians, building inspectors, street cleaning crews, sewer workers, parking enforcement officers, Head Start instructors and others.
However, emergency responders will remain at work during the strike, according to Miroglio.
Union officials said that as Oakland’s economy continues to prosper and grow, the city is operating at staffing levels that date back to 2008, with more than half of its workers only on the job part-time.
The union alleged in a statement, “The mayor and her administration are creating a health and safety crisis in Oakland.”
Oakland city spokeswoman Karen Boyd and spokespersons for Mayor Schaaf haven’t responded to requests for comment on the city workers’ plan to strike.
Schaaf is scheduled to present her “State of the City” address at the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California at 1433 Madison St. at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
City workers said they will begin picketing outside the facility at 5 p.m. that day.
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