ONN – Oakland Councilmember Sheng Thao, With Gallo, Kalb, Community Leaders, Write Right To Return To Work Law For Special Oakland City Council Commitee Meeting June 29th 2020.
OAKLAND, CA – In partnership with Councilmember Dan Kalb, Councilmember Noel Gallo, and labor and community leaders, Oakland City Councilmember Sheng Thao is proud to announce the RIGHT TO RETURN Ordinance, which establishes a just and fair process for hotels, stadiums, airport hospitality services, and restaurants to guarantee a right to return for employees laid off due to the COVID-19 crisis.
This measure would ensure around 15,000 food, airport, stadium, restaurant, and hotel workers can return to their line of work as soon as their former roles are made available. With service work being the third largest job creator in the City of Oakland this will have a huge impact over the local economy.
“COVID-19 has further exposed the deep flaws in our economic system.” Stated Councilmember Sheng Thao, “although unemployment is at an all-time high there are no reassurances that laid off workers can return to their previous roles once they open up. This Ordinance will help ensure around 15,000 Oakland employees have that right.”
Service workers are overwhelmingly people of color who are oftentimes paid well below the median income. As the city continues to expand worker protections per the direction of Measure Z and Councilmember Thao’s emergency paid sick leave ordinance, it is imperative we prepare for an eventual post COVID-19 recovery.
“People who have been laid off due to the necessary COVID restrictions should be the first ones re-hired as our economy begins to open up,” said Councilmember Dan Kalb, one of the co-authors of the Ordinance. “It’s common sense that those who’ve been struggling with reduced or no hours of employment should be first in line for the jobs they already had just a few months ago.”
“This is about equity, about standing up to some of our most underappreciated and important workers in Oakland,” explained Councilmember Noel Gallo, another one of the measures co-authors, “as corporations and banks are handed blank checks from the federal government we must do what we can to improve the lives of the most vulnerable during this crisis. It begins with our workers, our small businesses, and our black and brown communities.”
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