Every theater seat in Oakland City Council was occupied Tuesday night, and more parishioners flocked to the hallway when it was found members from two of the city’s largest unions were opposing the proposal to build a hotel in West Oakland.
In November 2016, Architectural Dimensions, an architecture and planning firm in Oakland, filed an application to build a six-story 220-room hotel on currently vacant lot on Mandela Parkway on the Oakland-Emeryville border. It was approved by the Oakland Planning Commission in June 2018.
At the meeting, carpenters in fluorescent yellow vests representing the Carpenters’ Union Local 2236 were there to support the project. It will bring well-paid union jobs to Oakland workers.
Across the chamber, members of Unite Here Local 2850, a union that represents hotel and food service workers, wore shirts that read “One job should be enough” and yellow signs that read “No Wage Theft” . They raised concerns that hotel workers are not getting a living wage and cannot afford rents in East Bay.
In June 2018, Ty Hudson, research analyst and spokesman for Unite Here, appealed on behalf of the union against the Commission’s approval of the project. The call focused on a section of the Urban Planning Act where the Commission needs to make a number of findings for hotel developments, including: “The proposal takes into account the impact of hotel or motel staff on urban demand for public housing, transit and social services . “
Read the rest of Katie Bernstein’s story in Oakland North.
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Photo: Unite Here Local 2850 union members gathered at the city council meeting Tuesday to protest a proposal to build a new hotel on the Emeryville city limits. Photo by David Sekiranda.