City Of Oakland Considers Contract With Known Lawbreaker, Teamsters Joint Council 7 Says
Politically connected firm poised to get lease despite nearly $1 million judgment for violating California Labor laws and a $235,000 debt to the City
OAKLAND, Calif., June 18, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Tuesday evening, the Oakland City Council will consider granting a 30-month lease to Oakland Maritime Support Services (OMSS), a company that currently provides truck parking for the city on a month-to-month lease at the former Oakland Army Base. Bill Aboudi owns OMSS.
Earlier this month, the Alameda County Superior Court issued a $964,000 judgment in a class action lawsuit against AB Trucking, a trucking company owned by Aboudi. The court determined that AB Trucking violated California labor laws by failing to pay its employees for all hours worked and failing to provide meal and rest breaks as required by California law. The judgment in Godfrey vs. AB (RG08379099) covers a class of 72 employees.
In an egregious violation of workers' rights by AB Trucking, the court's statement of decision noted:
"Drivers were not told by AB to take rest breaks. Instead, drivers provided examples of when they had been interrupted when attempting to take a break. Some drivers were encouraged by AB to relieve themselves in a bottle, via a funnel in the case of one female driver, or a bucket, in the case of another female driver, rather than take the time to stop to use the restroom."
Additionally, press accounts purport that OMSS owes the City of Oakland $235,000 in back rent and penalties, along with harboring dozens of unlicensed Oakland businesses on its property. OMSS also faces a lawsuit in the United States District Court for alleged violations of the Federal Clean Water Act on the City of Oakland's property, including discharging "oil, grease, rinse water, soap residue, engine coolant, solvents, volatile organic compounds, heavy metals associated with vehicle fluids and storm water falling onto the maintenance area", along with "urine and other wastes" into storm drains which run directly into the San Francisco Bay. (Case C10-01774, Northern California River Watch v. Oakland Maritime Support Services, Inc. et al)
At last week's City Council Community and Economic Development Committee meeting, council members unanimously approved city staff's request to move forward with lease negotiations, pending a vote by the full council this evening, a closed session briefing from the city attorney on June 21, and a second vote on July 2. Additionally, the Port of Oakland Board of Port Commissioners will consider the matter on June 27.
SOURCE Teamsters Joint Council 7
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