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On October 17, workers, union representatives, labor organizers, and community supporters returned to the Santa Cruz Dream Inn for a second rally in a month's time as workers at the hotel continue to demand a fair contract during negotiations. Management wants workers to take a three-year wage freeze, with raises limited to 1% and 2% in the fourth and fifth year. Dream Inn Workers have been negotiating with the Dream Inn for several months now and this offer continues to be unacceptable to them.
"We're here for the long haul. This employer doesn't want to give wage increases," said Cesar Lara, Executive Director of the Monterey Bay Central Labor Council at the rally. The Monterey Bay Central Labor Council (MBCLC) is affiliated with the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO). 65 labor unions are affiliated with the MBCLC, including Unite Here! Local 483, the union that represents Santa Cruz Dream Inn workers, as well as many other workers at hotel and restaurants in the Monterey Bay area.
Members of several different labor unions were present at the October 17 rally to support the Dream Inn workers, including SEIU 521, the Teamsters, the Teachers Union, and the California Nurses Association. "We're here to fight with you, we're here to support you," Lara said.
Read More with Photos and Video | Unite Here! Local 483
Previous Coverage: Santa Cruz Dream Inn Workers Rally for a Fair Contract
After successful blockades of Zim Line ships at the Port of Oakland in August and September, a third blockade was set to target the Zim ship Beijing before dawn on Saturday, October 25. The Beijing was rescheduled to dock the morning of Sunday, October 26, and then delayed indefinitely. Organizers — remaining vigilant for a potential docking at any time during the week — called for a solidarity march from West Oakland BART station on the afternoon of Sunday 26th, as a show of force to let Zim know that activists would be ready should the Beijing attempt to unload cargo in Oakland. The Beijing never docked at the port of Oakland and instead headed for other ports..
In announcing the action, organizers wrote:
Palestinians are unified in their call to people around the world to take action against Israel everywhere. Bay Area residents have the opportunity to up the ante and be leaders in the movement for justice in Palestine! We salute the longshoremen who stood with the Palestinian people by honoring our Block the Boat picket and refusing to unload Zim in August, and for doing so again during another successful picket in September. We will be asking workers to once again join with us in sending a message to the world that Zionism is not welcome at the Port of Oakland.
From Oakland to Seattle, Los Angeles, Vancouver, New York, New Orleans, and Tampa — turn the Israeli ship around!
Zionist Organization of America head calls for arrest of Block the Boat protesters
California Leads the Way in the “Block the Boat” Movement
Previous Related Indybay Features:
Oakland Does It Again with Successful BDS Blockade at Port (2014) |
Historic Victory Against Israeli Apartheid at the Port of Oakland (2014) |
Anti-Apartheid Picket at Oakland Docks Stops Unloading of Israeli Zim Line Ship (2010)
Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS
) activists in the San Francisco Bay Area came together again on September 27 and 28 to picket and blockade an Israeli Zim Line ship at the Port of Oakland. Organized by the Stop Zim Action Committee this time, Palestine solidarity activists dispersed across five entrances at the SSA terminal over multiple shifts, preventing longshore workers from unloading cargo for two days until the ship left port.
ILWU Local 10 longshore workers refused to work the Israeli Zim ship Shanghai during the picket. The ILWU Local 10 has been out of contract since July, which means workers will not get paid if they do not work a shift, regardless whether there is a picket line or a health and safety concern. But it also means union members do not have to defer to the port authority to determine whether or not they do cross a picket line. The ILWU has a long history of lending its union power in solidarity to outside causes.
Zim Integrated Shipping Services is Israel’s largest cargo shipping company and has become an increasingly popular target for BDS activists. In August, a Zim Line ship was effectively blocked in Oakland for four days, the longest blockade of its kind to date, kicking off similar actions up and down the West Coast. Oakland's Block the Boat coalition has called for yet another picket at the port on October 25
Bay Area activists again prevent unloading of Israeli ship |
Israeli Zim Shanghai At Standstill In Oakland By ILWU Action & Picket Line |
Liverpool Dockers Solidarity with ILWU Local 10 and Oakland Community Picket of ZIM Ships |
Stop ZIM Action Committee Thanks Supporters of Zim Shanghai Pickets and ILWU Local 10 |
Sustained Picket of Zim Ship in Oakland - End the Siege of Gaza:
Zim Blockade Continues - All Out to the Picket Line! |
Anti-Apartheid Group Announces Campaign to Block Zim Ships to Oakland
Previous Related Indybay Feature:
Historic Victory Against Israeli Apartheid at the Port of Oakland
On September 26, workers held a rally at the Santa Cruz Dream Inn to demand a fair contract with meaningful wage increases. Dream Inn workers are presently without a contract and have been negotiating with the hotel for months. Owners are proposing they take a three-year wage freeze followed by 1% and 2% raises in the fourth and fifth years. "We can barely support ourselves now and the Dream Inn wants to make it worse over the next five years," read a flyer handed out to hotel guests at the rally.
Workers demanding a fair contract at the Santa Cruz Dream Inn include everyone from room cleaners to bell persons, as well as servers, cooks and banquet staff from Aquarius, the hotel's restaurant. Many of those participating in the rally did so on breaks from work and while still wearing their Dream Inn uniforms.
"In this community it is very hard to live over here without wages," said Sergio Rangel, an organizer with Unite Here! Local 483, the labor union that represents hotel, restaurant, and hospitality workers in the Monterey Bay area. Rangel said they would be back "again, again, and again," until the company's owners, "do the right thing." During contract negotiations held with the Dream Inn several years ago, workers had already agreed to take wage concessions because the economy was doing so poorly at the time. According to Unite Here! these are different times now, and business at the hotel has picked up. The workers deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, Rangel said.
Read More with Photos and Video | Unite Here! Local 483
In a major victory against the Israeli Zim Lines shipping company, their ship the Piraeus was forced to leave the Port of Oakland after a mass march, four days of picketing, and the refusal of ILWU Local 10 and ILWU Local 34 to work the ship despite attempts by the Oakland police department and Alameda County deputies to break up the ongoing pickets. A similar action was held in 2010 at the port
, but Zim was known to have unload all of their cargo eventually. This time, many believe the Zim ship unloaded only a portion of cargo before giving up and heading back out to sea. Oakland's "Block the Boat" victory represents a historic first for the worldwide Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS
The action was originally scheduled to target Zim Lines on August 2, during the height of Israel's recent devastating attacks on the people of Gaza, but was rescheduled for August 16. A massive march was planned for 5am from West Oakland BART to the port to block, but Zim delayed their ship's arrival to attempt to disrupt the "Block the Boat" action. Organizers from the Arab Resource & Organizing Committee (AROC
) and other anti-apartheid organizations put out last-minute word that the ship was delayed and those intending to blockade the boat were not deterred. At 3pm, two thousand or more people turned out for the march to the port. ILWU Locals refused to cross the massive picket and the ship did not dock, so no cargo was unloaded the first day.
The following day, August 17, AROC and other coalition organizations put out a call for further blockades of gates at the port. Turnout was smaller, but the contingent was strong enough that four gates were picketed while the Piraeus was moored at the port. Again, no cargo was unloaded when the ILWU refused to cross the lines. From there, autonomous activists kept up the pressure at the gates for another two days. Zim lines attempted to get tricky by leaving the port and heading out into the San Francisco Bay and past the Golden Gate bridge, to lull activists into prematurely believing their victory had been won, only to return to a different berth at the port to re-attempt to unload cargo. Activists were not dissuaded and continued to picket further shifts of dockworkers in order to prevent unloading of the Piraeus. On the evening of August 19, Stevedoring Services of America (SSA) moved workers who were already inside of gates working another ship to unload the Piraeus, and some cargo was unloaded for a few hours. Activists persevered, and maintained pickets past midnight to prevent port workers from returning from their lunch break to unload further cargo. Police and sheriff's deputies attempted to push and shove activists aside at several points, but were unsuccessful overall. Some have said all cargo with Oakland as its destination was unloaded overnight while others believe only perishables were unloaded. In the early morning hours of August 20, Zim Lines finally caved and the Piraeus left the port.
Inspired by the victory in Oakland, further "Block the Boat" actions are planned for the ports of Tacoma, Seattle and Long Beach. Tacoma's "Block the Boat" is set for this Friday, August 22.
Read More with Photos:
ILWU Rank and File Back Picket Of Zim ship Piraeus At Port Of Oakland
United States Port Actions End Business as Usual For Israel
EASTWEST #3: An Anarchist Newspaper
Israeli Ship Blocked in Oakland
Longest Blockade of Israeli Ship in History - ZIM ship turned away from SSA in Oakland!
Major Victory Against Israel Apartheid Regime-Zim Lines Ship Piraeus Forced To Leave Port
Tokyo Japan Solidarity Action With Gaza-Protest At Zim Tokyo Offices
Israeli Ship Continues to be Successfully Blocked at the Port of Oakland
Keep The Israeli Zim Ship Stranded-Zim Ship Stuck In Port Of Oakand
Block The Boat - Join the Historic Blockade of the Israeli Apartheid Boat Day 4
Zim Ship Stranded In Oakland! The Labor Community Picket Against Zim Ship In The Port
Mass March & Picket At Oakland Port To Stop Israel's Zim Line Ship Piraeus To Protest Crimes In Gaza
KPFA: Protest Against Zim Line Ship In The Port Of Oakland
Block The Boat for Gaza at the Port of Oakland
Zim Ship Arrival Delayed: NOT 5am But 3pm
KPFA Pacifica to Cover Labor Community Picket At Port Of Oakland Against Zim Line
Stop The Israeli Massacre In Gaza-Full Support For Labor Community Mass Picket At Zim Line
CANCELLED: Block the Boat for Gaza! Shut Down the Israeli company ZIM Shipping @ the Port of Oakland
The Oakland Palestine Solidarity Mural Unveiled on 26th Street
Oakland Palestine Solidarity Mural Unveiling
Related Indybay Features:
The World Responds to Israel's Atrocities in Gaza: Hundreds of Palestinians, Including Whole Families, Have Been Killed in Gaza Since July 8
Labor and Community Picket Israeli Zim Line Ship: Anti-Apartheid Picket at Oakland Docks Stops Unloading of Israeli Zim Line Ship
Seniors, union workers and community supporters stopped tech company buses on August 1 at 24th and Valencia Streets to protest the epidemic of evictions caused by the City of San Francisco, which has allowed tech buses to bring thousands of Silicon Valley workers to the City, pushing up prices and evictions.
After two and a half years of protests at La Playa Carmel, former workers who lost their jobs in 2011 continue to return to the hotel to walk the picket line and protest. At a rally held at the expensive, Carmel-by-the-Sea area hotel on June 20, two of those in attendance were former workers who had each been employed at La Playa for over 20 years before losing their jobs. "We continue to fight La Playa to make sure that employers around this area don't try to hurt us," union organizer Hector Azpilcueta said.
"When La Playa decided to let go 113 workers, they never thought about us staying here after two years. They thought we were just going to pick up and leave," said Azpilcueta, who is with Unite Here Local 483
, the labor union that represents hotel, restaurant, and other hospitality workers in the Monterey and Santa Cruz areas.
Demonstrations continue to be held as a vehicle for obtaining justice for the former workers, but the union primarily measures the success of the actions at La Playa in terms of the contract victories gained at other establishments in the Monterey Bay area. In 2012 and 2013 Unite Here won contract victories with Monterey Beach Resort, Old Capital Club, and Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley. Later in 2013, the union negotiated the first ever labor contract for restaurant workers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Currently, the union is in negotiations in Santa Cruz with an unnamed business that has agreed to health care for workers in a recent bargaining session.
Read More with Photos and Video | La Playa Hotel Unfair | See Also: La Playa Carmel Demonstrations Continue in 2014
Previous Coverage: La Playa Carmel Holiday Rally Becomes Annual Tradition at Hotel
, "The movement to create healthy communities begins with appreciation. We want to create a day where we not only express gratitude to the hardworking people who put food on our plates, but also educate the community about the connections between food, climate change, and health. The goal of the day is to bring together youth, farmworkers, community leaders, local organizations, businesses, and public officials to celebrate farmworkers, while creating a platform for the Central Coast community to raise their voices around issues that support the environmental, economic, and physical health of the Central Coast region, the farmworkers, and their community.
"There will be live music, free food, healthy cooking demonstrations, education and speakers from community based organizations, and lots of love, goods, and support for farmworkers!
The event will be held on Sunday, June 15
, Father’s Day, at Closter Park in Salinas, from 11-3pm.
Following the SPD killing of Carlos Mejia on May 20, residents have struggled against the powers that be in Salinas. On May 25, local politicians and non-profit groups worked to quiet anti-police sentiment at the large march and statewide mobilization against police brutality held in East Salinas. On May 27, the family of Mejia filed a wrongful death legal claim against the City of Salinas, and a May 31 counter-protest was held at a pro-police rally organized by retired SPD officers and law enforcement families.
President Obama was in Mountain View on May 9 to promote initiatives that expand solar energy use. He had special praise for Walmart because it uses some forms of alternative energy. Labor advocates protested outside the megastore where the president spoke, saying that Walmart is anti-union, keeps workers' wages low, and provides few benefits.
Demonstrators said the president's visit sends a terrible message to workers. They accused Walmart of using spin to promote the perception that it is a socially conscious company, when the exact opposite is the case. Walmart has been called the poster child for despicable behavior as thousands of civil lawsuits are filed every year against the retail giant.
National civil rights leaders have signed a letter calling on the Walton Family Foundation to follow in Walmart’s footsteps and end their ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and specifically voice their opposition to “Stand Your Ground” and voter suppression laws. The leaders, including Rev. Jesse Jackson, Dr. Jeremiah Wright and Danny Glover, write that they are appalled that despite Walmart’s and the Walton Family’s attempts to create an image of supporting civil rights and community and civic participation, both the retail giant and the foundation have given more than $1 million to politicians with close ties to ALEC and its agenda.
On May 5, sign language interpreters who work at Purple Communications in Oakland went on a one-day unfair labor practice strike in Oakland. They were joined in the strike by workers in San Diego; Denver, Colorado; and Tempe, Arizona. The strike focused on the unfair manner in which the company changed the terms of employee health coverage. “This is about safety and health care,” said Carol Day, a veteran ASL interpreter who was picketing and handing out leaflets in downtown Oakland.
Members of ASL Interpreters United, an affiliate of the Pacific Media Workers Guild, TNG-CWA Local 39521, carried picket signs outside unionized Purple work sites, declaring the interpreters were “stronger together.” Only a handful of union-covered workers showed up intending to work at the four sites. In some locations, strike participation was close to 100 percent.
Read More |
FCC to fine Purple Communications $11.9 million, company sought fraudulent reimbursements
Jonathan Nack reports from Havana:
Hundreds of thousands of Cubans demonstrated unmistakeable enthusiasm while marching in the Cuban capitol on May Day – International Workers Day. Marchers chanted, danced, sang songs, and blew horns throughout the festive march. It was a clear statement of support for the Cuban government. CBS News reported an estimated 600,000 participated. Trade unionists, community groups, members of cooperatives, and even unions of small businesses demonstrated their support for the Cuban Revolution.
The main slogan for this year's May Day mobilization was, “the unity of the workers is the guarantee of the revolution.” Another prominent slogan urged the building of a more efficient and prosperous socialism. The march was organized by the government, but had a largely informal character. Most of the signs, banners, and numerous giant puppets appeared to be homemade. The march began in the early morning, no doubt to avoid the midday heat. It was basically completed by noon. Cuban President Raul Castro presided over the event, waiving to the marchers from the reviewing stand.
International supporters of the revolution who came from many countries were quite visible. Latin American international contingents were the most prominent, particularly from Colombia, Venezuela and Honduras. Images of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and, of course, that of Ché Guevara, were emblazoned on the t-shirts of many of the marchers.
Over one hundred San Francisco public school teachers, paraprofessionals, and education staff, members of United Educators of San Francisco (UESF), rallied on April 22 at the San Francisco Unified School District school board building. UESF workers are demanding a living wage after an 8-year wage freeze. They want a 21% wage increase and are asking for increased services and support staff. The massive speculative housing bubble is driving workers out of San Francisco and forcing them to commute long distances. After the rally UESF members spoke out at the board meeting.
Many teachers and school staff members are unable to afford healthcare for their families. Meanwhile, the school district spends tens of millions of dollars on consultants and privatization schemes. Protesters said that the district is starving the schools in the poorer areas of San Francisco and forcing education workers to live on poverty wages. This, they added, is happening in a city with twenty-seven billionaires.
At a rally on April 15, Tax Day, hundreds of SEIU 1021 city workers rallied at San Francisco City Hall and then marched to the headquarters of Twitter on Market Street. The demonstration was organized to protest the tax subsidies the company receives that are worth tens of millions of dollars a year while city workers have taken pay cuts. Members of SEIU 1021 rallied and marched against the continuing attack on San Francisco SEIU 1021 city workers while Democratic Mayor Ed Lee and the Supervisors give tax subsidies to Twitter and other tech titans. They reported on the dangerous understaffing which is threatening workers' health and safety, and the protection of the public, as well as bullying in the workplace.
Photos | Rise Up, Shut It Down, San Francisco Is a Union Town!
Previous Related Indybay Feature:
SEIU Rally to Stop Twitter Tax Subsidies & Attacks On Health Care Benefits
20 graduate and undergraduate students were arrested at UC Santa Cruz on April 2, and two more were arrested on April 3. UAW 2865, the union representing Teaching Assistants throughout the University of California system, called for a peaceful, legal strike in protest of management’s unlawful intimidation of student-workers, but were met with more of the same intimidation.
On March 4, one hundred and forty-nine public speaker's cards were turned in prior to the Oakland City Council meeting. Public comment was unanimous against a city-wide Domain Awareness Center. Nevertheless, council members passed a resolution at about 1am on March 5 to proceed with a scaled-down Port-only version of the DAC. From the public galleries in council chambers, calls of "shame, shame, shame" rang out after the vote to continue development of the DAC.