Victory for Oakland: Army Base resolution Supports good jobs (Community Voices)

Oakland Local

Rose Morton, an Oakland ironworker, testifies in support of the good jobs plan at City Council

by Kate O'Hara, Oakland Local, Posted: Fri, 10 Feb at 11:13 a.m. 

Late Tuesday night, the Oakland City Council unanimously pproved a good jobs and community benefits plan for the massive redevelopment of the Oakland Army Base project! The vote was a long time coming, as this good jobs plan was developed over the last year by consensus by a broad group of stakeholders including Revive Oakland, which EBASE convenes. It will guide negotiations with the Army Base developers towards a final deal.

At the meeting, an incredibly powerful line up of youth, workers, neighbors and advocates spoke the truth on what these jobs mean for our community. Twenty-year old Rayna Smith, a leader with Urban Peace Movement, urged the city to pass the good jobs plan to help curb violence in our neighborhoods. Rose Morton, an Oakland ironworker, explained how her stable, union job lifted her out of poverty and how she wants the same for others coming up today.

Jessamyn Sabbag with Oakland Rising cited staggering community support for the plan: 80% of Oakland voters want the Army Base project to ensure workers’ rights to organize for better wages and to provide opportunities for formerly incarcerated individuals.

The good jobs plan sets groundbreaking expectations for this project, including:

  • Construction careers opportunities: In addition to the City’s 50% local hire goal for construction, ALL new apprentices on the project will come from Oakland and a share of the work each year will be for new apprentices. These provisions will be included in both a Community Jobs Agreement and a Project Labor Agreement, ensuring good quality, long-term construction careers for local workers.
  • Long-term job pathways and training: Creation of a West Oakland Jobs Center and 50% local hire goal for long-term warehouse operations jobs, starting first with West Oakland and then other low income neighborhoods. This marks the first time Oakland has set local hire expectations for jobs beyond the construction phase.
  • Good quality, family-supporting jobs: Long-term businesses on the site would maintain peaceful labor relations with workers who chose to organize for better wages and benefits as well as not utilizing temp agencies which undercut job quality and stability.
  • Opportunities for formerly incarcerated people: A quarter of the long-term jobs and apprenticeships will be for disadvantaged workers and employers will “ban the box” removing the question on job applications about previous convictions. This would extend the City’s own non-discrimination hiring policy, one of the most progressive in the nation.
  • Community monitoring and enforcement: These pieces will be developed into a community jobs agreement with ongoing stakeholder input and enforced through a community-labor-government oversight committee to ensure employer compliance in real-time.

This was a huge step forward for Oakland! Now it is clear what we expect from this project. Next, we put the question to Prologis, the biggest developer of warehouses on the planet, and hold them accountable for sharing some of their $48 billion in assets with our Oakland families.

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