International Longshore and Warehouse Union dockworkers returned to work late Tuesday after Oakland Mayor Jean Quan brokered a deal between the port authority and the Service Employees International Union.
The SEIU, which has been negotiating a new contract for port maintenance workers for more than a year, picketed Oakland’s marine terminals early Tuesday over charges that the port was not bargaining in good faith. International Longshore and Warehouse Union dockworkers refused to cross the lines, shutting the port for much of the day.
Arbitration sought by the Pacific Maritime Association resulted in a ruling that the SEIU action did not constitute a bona fide picket line, PMA President Jim McKenna said, but dockworkers refused to report to their jobs, charging that the number of SEIU picketers at the terminals constituted a safety and health hazard. In a second ruling, the arbitrator agreed that a health and safety situation was present, and the port remained shut down for the entire day shift.
Quan got the SEIU and port leadership together later in the day, and the union agreed to step aside by 7 p.m. Tuesday to allow longshoremen to report to their jobs. Most terminals were unable to secure labor for the second shift, but some terminal operators intended to call in dockworkers for the so-called hoot owl shift from 3 a.m. to 8 a.m. Wednesday.
Normal operations were expected to resume for Wednesday’s 8 a.m. day shift, the port said.
The port and the SEIU are scheduled to hold fact-finding hearings on Nov. 30 and Dec. 3.