For too many years, the shuttle drivers and cashiers at area parking lots settled for too little, and new Business Rep Mike Fritz not only aims to change that — he already has.
“We need to ensure that these members start getting paid what they’re worth—especially given the health hazards that so many of them have endured,” he says. “We have one shuttle driver who has contracted COVID four times so far.”
Fritz had three parking contracts to negotiate in the first half of 2022. His first, completed and ratified overwhelmingly in March, was for the 60 members at LAZ Kaiser in Oakland and Richmond. “At the start of the pandemic, this company couldn’t hire anybody, so they raised the wages to $18/hour. After a while, they lowered the wage back to minimum wage, and, as you’d expect, that didn’t go well with the members,” he says wryly.
“Fortunately, this year’s contract negotiations brought big change, including the highest raises our members here have ever seen,” Fritz says. Fritz adds that the members will also get a new floating holiday, and will be able to observe holidays that fall on Saturdays on the Friday before. Also, for the first time, the company will contribute to their 401K Plan. Fritz wanted to recognize the negotiating committee for their excellent work.
The next parking contract up was with Premiere Parking at Highland Hospital and to get that deal, Fritz upped his tactics. “These members were so underpaid that I had at least one who was living out of his car.” In a great team effort, Business Rep Mike Henneberry helped Fritz get in front of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors to get support for the workers at this County facility. And Business Rep Jonathan Pinney joined Fritz and Henneberry in negotiations.
“The members voted unanimously on May 14 to ratify the best contract they’ve ever seen,” Fritz says. The 3-year contract includes an immediate raise to bring them up to area standards, and more in each of the next two years. “Most important, this company is on notice that the supervisors will take their contract away if they don’t continue to do the right thing by the workers.”
Fritz’ third contract will be for the members who work at LAZ Oakland Airport. “We’re in bargaining now and I am looking to get these members almost the same deal as we got at Kaiser. I will involve the Board of the Port of Oakland if I have to.”