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Turkey: Journalists’ Union holds nationwide protests against latest wave of arrests

Labourstart.org News - Mon, 03/09/2020 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: EFJ
Categories: Labor News

Coronavirus: Grand Princess arrives in Port of Oakland

ILWU - Mon, 03/09/2020 - 16:24

By FIONA KELLIHER | fkelliher@bayareanewsgroup.com | Bay Area News Group

PUBLISHED: March 9, 2020 at 7:55 a.m. | UPDATED: March 9, 2020 at 1:14 p.m.

After days at sea and amid rising panic over coronavirus, the Grand Princess cruise ship docked in the Port of Oakland midday Monday.

The ship’s much-anticipated arrival means some of the 3,500 people aboard will finally disembark and head to different locations in California and around the world for testing and quarantine.

The Grand Princess traveled off the coast Monday morning, passing first under San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and then the Bay Bridge, before entering the port. Workers in vests stood across at the docking area in front of beige tents nearby, along with what appeared to be tour buses.

As the ship neared the shoreline, nearly all its balconies were full with passengers looking out in anticipation. One person walked along the top deck, waving what appeared to be a white handkerchief.

Flanked by several tugboats, the boat finally came to rest near Berth 22.

Passengers in need of medical support or hospitalization will disembark first, along with those who are symptomatic or tested positive for coronavirus. Then the nearly 1,000 Californians on the ship will get off, followed by those from outside the state.

Disembarking the California residents aboard the ship will take the “greater part” of Monday, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services said. The crewmembers will be quarantined aboard the ship, officials said, except for those who are in need of medical care who will be transferred to a California medical facility.

The ship will leave the Port of Oakland after disembarking passengers, officials said, but it’s not clear where exactly it’s headed. Plans for the crew quarantine were “still being determined” as of late Sunday, according to cruise operator Princess Cruises.

Of the 3,535 people aboard the Grand Princess, 21 have tested positive for the coronavirus; 19 are crew members and two are passengers. But just 45 people on board were tested — meaning that public health officials are gearing up to test the remaining 3,490 passengers and crew at quarantine sites.

The cruise ship, which idled off the coast on Sunday while officials prepared for its arrival, has returned from Hawaii. Word that a 71-year-old Placer County passenger had died of the illness prompted the cancellation of its final stop in Ensenada, Mexico.

The #GrandPrincess has arrived. I feel like I’ve been following this ship for the last few days & made it just in time for its arrival. The Golden Gate Bridge always welcomes everyone. Be kind. (@MarineTraffic has been an amazing tool & data aggregator for tracking in real time)

Californians who have not been tested — or who tested negative — will be moved to Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield or Miramar Naval Air Station in San Diego for a mandatory 14-day quarantine and medical monitoring for signs of an infection, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Governor Gavin Newsom said Sunday in a press conference that passengers will be carefully contained to avoid contact with the public during the transportation and quarantine process.

Although state and national officials considered various Bay Area ports, they decided on Oakland in part for its ability to accommodate a ship of the Grand Princess’s size and surrounding land that could be easily secured.

Port officials weren’t expecting any impact on port operations, said Port of Oakland Director of Communications Mike Zampa. He said the area the ship was docking is mostly used for short term cargo storage and truck parking.

Bill Aboudi, president of the transport company Oakland Port Services Corporation, said business at the port has already been slow — so he hasn’t witnessed a logistical impact from the arrival or preparation of the ship. But some truck drivers — operating just a few hundred yards from the dock — have been concerned by what he called a lack of information from the port.

“We haven’t heard anything or received any information,” he said. “We want more info.”

Without direction from the port about how to handle — or stay away from — the ship, he said, “drivers get scared.”

The port is also located close to Travis Air Force Base, where a large number of U.S. coronavirus patients have been quarantined, and to Oakland International Airport.

Private charter planes are planned to take passengers out of North Field at the airport, Zampa said, but declined to confirm details on how many flights and passengers were scheduled.

As of Sunday, state officials that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in California had topped 100, including five new coronavirus cases in both Santa Clara and Contra Costa counties, bringing the counties’ respective totals to 37 and nine. San Francisco reported five new cases Monday, bringing its total to 13.

Categories: Unions

Global: Why I’ll be striking for International Women’s Day

Labourstart.org News - Sat, 03/07/2020 - 16:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Opendemocracy
Categories: Labor News

Street and bench honors former ILWU International President Dave Arian

ILWU - Fri, 03/06/2020 - 12:35

Former ILWU International President David Arian who also served as Vice President of the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners was remembered one year after his passing with a ceremony that dedicated a street and bench in his honor on February 8th in San Pedro. The event was attended by rank-and-file ILWU members from all over Southern California, elected officials, friends, family and community members who were influenced by Arian’s life and work.

Speakers included ILWU International President Willie Adams, Local 13 President Ray Familathe, Los Angeles City Council members Joe Buscaino and Mike Bonin, Los Angeles Supervisor Janice Hahn, Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka, Harbor Commissioner Diane Middleton, and Dave’s daughter Justine Arian-Edwards. Coast Committeemen Frank Ponce De Leon and Cam Williams also attended the ceremony.

Dave Arian Way: (L to R): Coast Committeeman Cam Williams, ILWU International President Willie Adams and Coast Committeeman Frank Ponce De Leon were on hand to celebrate the life of Dave Arian during the street naming ceremony in San Pedro.

On January 10th, the port approved the renaming of Miner Street south of E. 22nd Street, to be known as “Dave Arian Way.” Before the renaming ceremony, a plaque naming a nearby bench in Dave’s honor was also unveiled.

The bench overlooks the Angels Gate Lighthouse where ships enter and leave the port. It was one of Dave’s favorite places to sit and reflect on the many issues facing the port.

President Adams described Arian as a maverick and visionary.

“Dave’s legacy is felt worldwide,” said Adams, who noted that the ILWU received condolences from Australia, New Zealand, and Europe.

“But Dave never forgot that he was a rank-and-filer. Dave represented the best of the working class and he fought for the people who couldn’t fight for themselves. He was one of the last of the ILWU giants.”

Familathe’s remarks emphasized Arian’s deep roots and history in San Pedro and his commitment to improving the port and investing in the workers who operate the docks.

“Dave was about labor and the community. He loved the ILWU but he loved this community,” said Familathe.

“Dave was about investing in human capital. And as we expand this port, we hope that human capital will continue to be invested in.”

Dave’s daughter Justine recalled how her father taught her to drive on the street that will now bear his name.

It will be a great honor to walk and bike along Dave Arian Way with my children,” she said, adding that a committee is being formed to organize an annual march or political event to honor Arian’s memory and legacy.

Categories: Unions

Tartine bakery workers launch union campaign

ILWU - Fri, 03/06/2020 - 12:02

A popular Bay Area bakery with loyal customers, delicious baked goods and dramatic expansion plans now has an overwhelming majority of workers organizing to join the ILWU.

Tartine workers kicked-off their union campaign on February 6 when employees at each of the company’s four Bay Area locations asked management to recognize their new union.

Goals include better pay, benefits, a voice in decisions and a written contract.

A healthy majority of the more than 230 Tartine workers have already signed union cards, but instead of recognizing their new union, management responded with a union-busting campaign. It began quietly with voluntary, informal chats led by the couple who founded the bakery, but quickly shifted to nastier “captive audience” sessions with a team of four professional union-busting consultants.

Lots of community support: Tartine workers have a large and loyal customer support base that is supporting their effort to join the ILWU.

Workers say their employer no longer feels like the small, street corner bakery in San Francisco’s Mission District that’s now transformed into an international corporation with outside investors.

Veteran employee John Lapp from Tartine’s Manufactory, says union support has grown steadily – and is needed now to ensure workers have a real voice. “Having a union contract with all the important things in writing is the only way for us to have accountability and rights on the job,” he says.

He and other Tartine workers got an inspirational boost last year when workers at the nearby Anchor Brewery organized and joined the ILWU.

Anchor workers also endured an anti-union campaign, but the brewery management took a more cooperative approach when it was clear workers were united and well-organized. That unity helped win an impressive contract with significant wage and benefit improvements.

Tartine workers have filed for a union election that will be supervised by the National Labor Relations Board. Workers in San Francisco will vote on Thursday, March 12; Berkeley workers vote Friday, March 13.

Employee Pat Thomas who works at the original Tartine Bakery in San Francisco says, “people say San Francisco is a union town and that’s proving to be true. Many of my personal friends in the San Francisco music community have told me how proud they are of what we’re doing. I think people are taking a lot of inspiration from our effort.”

One group of Tartine workers at San Francisco’s International Airport terminal are already covered by a Hotel & Restaurant Workers Union contract, one that covers most food service workers at the airport.

The effort by workers at three other San Francisco locations and one bakery in Berkeley has received strong community support, including concern from local political leaders who have criticized Tartine’s union-busting campaign.

Employee Mason Lopez, who works at the Tartine Bakery in Berkeley, says support from customers has been impressive. “Customers see our buttons and tell us they’re supporting our union. There’s a lot of support out there to back us up, and not much sympathy for companies that try to bust unions,” they said. Future issues of The Dispatcher will cover this ongoing story.

Categories: Unions

ILWU locals turn out in force for 35th annual Kingdom Day Parade in Los Angeles

ILWU - Fri, 03/06/2020 - 11:38

For the first time in over a decade, ILWU Locals marched in a show of strength at the Los Angeles Kingdom Day parade to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This year’s parade theme was “Equality For All Humanity, Our Next Step.” The three-mile parade route in South-Central Los Angeles started at Western and MLK Boulevard, then went the length of MLK to end at Leimert Park where there was a festival with music, games and food vendors. The event attracted thousands of participants and spectators, and was broadcast live on three local television stations.

Future ILWU member: Steven Lawson proudly displays the Local 13 flag.

Approximately 75 ILWU members from Locals 13, 94 and 56 participated in the parade which was led by the ILWU Local 10 Drill Team who travelled from the Bay Area to participate. Local 13 member Geraldine Hecker-Popov and Local 13 Executive Board member Melon Caesar co-organized the event. Local 13 provided funding that paid for special t-shirts, along with ILWU caps and snacks for the marchers. A bus that transported members from the ILWU Memorial Hall in Wilmington to the parade area was provided by Los Angeles Supervisor Janice Hahn. Hecker-Popov said she attended the Kingdom Day parade last year with her children where she saw other unions participating but not the ILWU. She was determined to make sure that the ILWU had a presence this year.

Hecker-Popov says she learned to be an activist at an early age while growing up in the housing projects of San Pedro. “When I see something wrong, I have to make it right,” she said. “Dr, King was an honorary member of Local 10. He fought for racial justice, Civil Rights and for workers’ rights, just like the ILWU always has. Especially with all that is going on in this country right now, I felt it was important for our union to have a presence honoring his legacy.”

March organizers: Local 13 member Geraldine Hecker-Popov (left) and Local 13 Executive Board member Melon Caesar were co-organizers of the ILWU march in this year’s Kingdom Day parade. Both women said they want to make sure this is a regular event for the ILWU.

She brought the issue to the Local 13 Executive Board and membership meeting. Both bodies approved supporting the Local’s participation in the parade.

Ceaser said participation in the parade is part of an effort build a stronger awareness of the ILWU in Los Angeles. “The ILWU is well known in the harbor-area, but not a lot of people in this part of LA knows who we are,” she said.

ILWU Local 56 Dispatcher Antonio Andrade was among the contingent of 10 shipscalers who attended the march.

It was an early start for ILWU members who gathered at the Memorial Hall at 6:45AM for a 7:30 AM departure. Before boarding the bus, Local 13-member Reverend Henry Pollard Jr., led the group in prayer.

After a long wait in the staging area, the ILWU contingent started marching with Local 10’s Drill Team delighting the crowd along the route. Spectators cheered at their performance and joined in with chants of “I-L-W-U.”

Auxiliary 8 President Ida Taylor was honored by the Local at the march for her years of service to the Federated Auxiliary. Taylor served for two terms as the Federated Auxiliary President and 11 years as President of Auxiliary 8. She rode along the parade route in a convertible Mini-Cooper.

ILWU Local 56 Dispatcher Antonio Andrade was among the contingent of 10 shipscalers who attended the march – about 20% of the small local’s membership. Andrade said that more members would have attended, but everyone else was working.

“It’s important that we show up to these events and show our support and solidarity with our fellow ILWU members,” Andrade said.

Ceaser said that she plans on having the ILWU participate in the parade again next year.

“Eventually, I want us to have a float,” she said. “Next year our presence is going to be even bigger and better.”

Categories: Unions

Belize’s Black Stevedores Protest

Current News - Thu, 03/05/2020 - 20:16

Belize’s Black Stevedores Protest

March 5, 2020


We hope that this message finds you well in the struggle for dignity and justice.

We are writing to alert you to breaking news in Belize where stevedores (dock workers) are going into their 72 hours of protest camping out against actions of the privately-run Port of Belize Ltd. with the support of their union, the Christian Workers’ Union (CWU). There are about 150 mostly Black stevedores (dockworkers) who daily risk their lives (some have fallen to their deaths) working to unload shipping containers, at the principal deep-water port in the Central American and Caribbean country of Belize. One community supporter at the port said, “These workers are the salt-of-the-earth. They risk their lives for us.” They cannot call this protest a strike, because of the 2015 law that the Government of Belize pushed deeming stevedores “essential service workers” requiring that they give 21 days notice of an industrial strike. The union's communications regarding a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the PBL have gone unanswered; they have not had a new CBA since 2004.

The workers recently learned- through the grapevine- that two multinational corporations, American Sugar Refineries and Santander, are restructuring sugar exports after months (if not years) of behind closed door meetings. They plan to move shipping of sugar to the Big Creek Port in the southern district of Toledo. Workers there are not yet unionised and the Port will use mechanisation of the process as justification for hiring fewer labourers. They are being pressured to end this action and return to work. The CWU now questions the legality of the Essential Services Act as stevedores are often denied work shifts during bank holidays, presumably so that the PBL can avoid having to pay time and a half or double their regular salaries.

The union president Evan “Mose” Hyde and the union representatives explain that the restructuring of the sugar imports will impact 150 workers, a third of whom are expecting to be fired under grounds of “redundancy” and almost half of whom are expecting to have their hours and income cut, tremendously. This is one of the few jobs in which Black workers are able to make what approximates a living wage, with a union, in the southside of Belize City. Many of them come from generations of dock workers who work expertly under dangerous conditions. Currently while the men are on strike- and always- women in the community are carrying out the labour of taking care of children and the home.

This is racist. This is anti-union. This is anti-labour. It is an assault on Black workers who are part of the heart of the Belize economy, in a country where the majority is living in poverty and is made up of Black (African Kriol, Garinagu and African and African Diasporan immigrants), Indigenous (Maya Mopan, Yucatec, Q’eqchi and Garinagu) and SE Asian Diasporan (East Indians).

CWU leadership:
Evan “Mose” Hyde (501) 672-4770 evanmosehyde@gmail.com
Marisol Amaya, KREM, (501) 671-6037; kremnews@yahoo.com or alimarisol@gmail.com
YaYa Marin Coleman, KREM, (501) 671-8050; knowthyself3@hotmail.com

Words from the CWU at the start of the protest:
“In the wake of this neoliberal romance there will be devastating economic losses to one hundred and fifty stevedores, approximately almost a third of which will become unemployed, and those that remain will have their annual earnings reduce by 40%. The writing is clearly on the wall that our members are on a sinking ship with sugar. A huge reason for this devastating blow is the failure of PBL’s receivership either as a result of disinterest or because of conspiratorial design fail to compete, fail to invest and fail to care. While our members financial stability is about to be sacrificed in the name corporate profit margins, PBL has not felt it important to communicate a single word to our members , members who have risked and lost their lives working in unsafe conditions, and unsafe barges while making maximum profits for these companies. We know that ASR has had the decency to engage its members who will be affected by this move in the North, multiple gratuity options are being presented to them but here in Belize City the receivership has completely ignored our members.

Today we are demanding a signed agreement for compensation for our members for the years that they have worked sugar, once they have been made redundant. We will not wait until the last sugar boat is loaded, we do not trust the present management of PBL. We have had to go to the highest offices of the land seeking an intervention with PBL’s failure, but while we have gotten a sympathetic ear, we have been told there is nothing that can be done to force PBL to act in our interest. The staff members at PBL that we represent are also taking the time to protest the blatant disrespect and insolence of the management in completely ignoring their proposals for a new CBA that was sent to them last year. The staff members have every right to be frustrated by the fact that they have not had a new CBA since 2004. This stale agreement has created an environment where our members have seen their rights eroded and a plethora of irregularities and inconsistencies in the workplace. Our members’ backs are against the wall, there is no choice but to stand up and defend and secure our survival and our economic dignity."

We need international news coverage
Contacts with unions and other social movement organisations
The Christian Workers Union needs legal contacts in the Caribbean region (Common Law)

Living wage: This is one of the sectors in which workers are able to make something resembling a living wage.

Solidarity: Staff at the PBL have occasionally stood outside with the stevedores in a show of support. Yesterday truck drivers from northern Belize joined the stevedores. The Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) has joined some meetings.

Workers’ rights: The stevedores are unionised and incredibly skilled workers being denied any participation in the decision making processes that impact their work and livelihood. International laws and conventions protect their right to work. Their wages are critical to Black working class people in try Belize City.

Racial justice: In a country plagued with anti-Black racism, the work of stevedores has been dominated by Black people of African descent. International laws protect Black people from discrimination by private and public institutions and require that the state protect Black people from racial discrimination. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belize has acknowledged the UN Decade of People of African Descent.

Gender justice: Women are taking on immense reproductive and feminised labour, now while the stevedores are camping out at the Port, and, always.

Immigrant rights: Neoliberal policies impose the privatisation of public resources, impoverish and militarise this Central American and Caribbean country and provide one of the main reasons why Belizeans, particularly Black Belizeans, migrate.

Environmental rights: These corporations are shifting to rely on trucking to a southern district and will likely increase their use of fossil fuels and potentially create conditions of congestion on road-ways that pass through mountainous zones, creating greater risk for truck drivers.

Krem Livestream and Video Links (YMC)
Krem News’ director Marisol Amaya and Krem Sunday Review host YaYa Marin Coleman have been covering the protest, interviewing stevedores and union leaders.
Christian Workers Union Press Conference March 5, 2020 https://www.facebook.com/kremnews/videos/201699250937223/
March 2, 2020 Interview with union leadership https://www.facebook.com/kremnews/videos/206800597070086
March 2 Text Synopsis & Photos https://www.facebook.com/101391280267361/posts/739521769787639/
March 2, Video https://www.facebook.com/kremnews/videos/161526811469829/
https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2713255925461527&id=10000331... Video clip from Wednesday March 4, 2020 Stevedore Sharing about the containers coming in to be loaded on the ship.
March 5, 2010 Stevedores Respond about the meeting with CWU. PBL and Labour Minister https://www.facebook.com/kremnews/videos/812342455929079/
https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2713186518801801&id=10000331... Pictures and text from stevedores having breakfast after their 2nd morning of waking up outside the Port of Belize Ltd.

Newspaper Articles and Photos (YMC)
Stevedores stood, sat, walked in front of the Belize Port Authority Limited Monday March 3, 2020 at around 8:30 in the morning Stevedores face “dread times”
February 8, 2020 news article about stevedores concerned about job insecurity BSI/ASR threatens stevedores' earnings
February 2020 Santander offers Cayo Farmers sweet deal
As their workers Santander offers Cayo farmers sweet deal
News story from February 2020 about Santander Harvest and their use of machinery to produce more profits, replace workers https://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/1989
October 6, 2018 Amandala story on PBL & CWU about stevedores Stevedores threaten waterfront strike!
Stevedores stories, their work lives, they work in gangs of (how many men), and they work in shifts (different hours of work, staggered throughout the time it takes to load a boat), Black men, generations of families, Faber Family 5 generations of men in the longshore business
News article in December 2015 after 3 days of strike by stevedores around Christmas time GOB passes a law to make stevedores essential services Parties react to law making stevedores an essential service
News article explaining Belize Sugar The Santander Group exports first sugar shipment Industry (BSI/ASR position on why they are considering trucking raw sugar from the North of Belize where the sugar cane is processed to the Port of Big Creek in the Toledo District BSI shipment of sugar from Big Creek Port will hit stevedores hard, if implemented September 25, 2019
Big Creek is a deep water port (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Creek,_Belize)
The Port has been in receivership for many years- it is privatised and under “temporary” management
Belize City describe the North and Southside classifications https://belize.com/belize-city/ this link gives a description of north and south side geographic location
Santander first export in 2016 https://www.sanpedrosun.com/business-and-economy/2016/08/11/the-santande...

Tags: Beliz longshore workersunion bustingracismAmerican Sugar RefineriesSantander
Categories: Labor News

Global: Workers are in the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19

Labourstart.org News - Thu, 03/05/2020 - 16:00
LabourStart headline - Source: UNI Global Union
Categories: Labor News

Turkey: KESK Executive Board Acquitted but Anti-Union Repression Continues

Labourstart.org News - Wed, 03/04/2020 - 16:00
LabourStart headline - Source: ITUC
Categories: Labor News

Hong Kong: ITUC calls for withdrawal of unfounded charges against union leader Lee & others

Labourstart.org News - Mon, 03/02/2020 - 16:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Scoop World
Categories: Labor News

France: Unions call for more protests as government pushes pension reform through parliament

Labourstart.org News - Mon, 03/02/2020 - 16:00
LabourStart headline - Source: The Local
Categories: Labor News

Fatal crash of ILWU longshore worker Rasheeda Marsh near Port of Oakland raises ire about illegally parked trucks

Current News - Sat, 02/29/2020 - 09:39

Fatal crash of ILWU longshore worker Rasheeda Marsh near Port of Oakland raises ire about illegally parked trucks
“The companies don’t make changes until someone dies,” he said. “Safety can’t affect profit, that’s the dilemma of capitalism.”

Matthias Gafni Feb. 29, 2020 Updated: Feb. 29, 2020 4 a.m.

An informal memorial was set up at the site where Rasheeda Marsh crashed her car into illegally parked truck trailer at the Oakland port last Saturday.Photo: Scott Strazzante / The Chronicle

Trucks line up, above, on the side of the road waiting to enter the Port of Oakland’s west gate near where Rasheeda Marsh, left, died in a car crash.Photo: Photos by Scott Strazzante / The Chronicle

Rasheeda Marsh, a 39-year-old dock worker, crashed her car into the front of this parked trailer at the Port of Oakland on Saturday night. The truck was left in the left hand turning lane.Photo: Courtesy of Mariela Leviege
On break from her job as a dock worker at the Port of Oakland last Saturday night, Rasheeda Marsh crashed her Honda into the front of an unattached truck trailer, illegally parked in a left-hand turn lane on Middle Harbor Road.

Marsh, a 39-year-old Oakland resident, died at the scene, leaving behind a 4-year-old son and grieving mother, brother and boyfriend. Longshoremen and port workers interviewed by The Chronicle said the accident could have been prevented. They say they’ve complained to the port, city and Oakland police for years about illegally parked trucks in the median of the road.

“There’s definitely safety issues down here,” said Craig Lauderdale, a 32-year longshoreman veteran who said he’s complained to the port numerous times. “There have been complaints, and police have come down here a few times, but you rarely see them. If I parked my car in the median of Broadway it’d be towed, so why should it be allowed in the port?”

At issue is a practice in which truckers over the weekend — and to a lesser extent on weeknights — illegally park their trucks, trailers and sometimes just an empty trailer chassis in the median of Middle Harbor to reserve a spot in line when the port’s west gate opens. Those vehicles and equipment can be hard to see on the long straightaway, often a magnet for illegal street racing that has ended in fatal crashes, though not involving parked trucks.

Port spokesman Mike Zampa said it’s a public road, and it’s up to Oakland police to enforce traffic regulations.

“There are occasionally trucks that get into a queue before the gates open, not that frequently,” Zampa said. “It’s not something they’re supposed to do, and when we see it, we report it.”

Oakland city records show only one call for service for an abandoned vehicle on Middle Harbor since 2010. The city’s Public Works Department handles parking enforcement and Oakland police handle traffic enforcement. An Oakland police spokeswoman said the department has received no complaints from the port about the illegal parking issue.

Signs along one shoulder warn truckers of “No Idling,” while others say “No Parking.” There are no signs indicating no parking in the turning lane or median, but that is never legal. A traffic fine for impeding a lane of traffic is $63.

Less than two years ago, an Oakland police officer was critically injured after slamming his patrol SUV into a parked semi-truck while responding to a call on the same stretch of roadway, early on a Monday before the gates opened to let trucks queued up over the weekend into the port.

Officer Jordan Wingate was responding to a report of a suspicious person in August 2018 and traveling eastbound on the 1900 block of Middle Harbor when his vehicle collided with another car and then crashed into a parked semi-truck, officials said at the time. He has not returned to the department and is still recovering from his injuries, police said.

Northern California man freed after 15 years in prison for...
“You would have thought after what happened two years ago the port would’ve cracked down on it,” Lauderdale said.

On Monday, trucks continued to park in the turning lane, which extends into a median outlined by double-yellow lines, Lauderdale said. He snapped a photo of three trucks already parked in the spot around 7 p.m., shortly after the port day shift ended.

On Tuesday, a reporter and photographer saw a line of trucks on the shoulder with a security guard nearby. About 100 feet east of the port entrance, dozens of memorial candles flickered in the still night air along a fence where Marsh’s car came to rest Saturday just before midnight.

“Rest in Love #2482,” someone wrote in black marker on Marsh’s yellow longshoreman safety vest hanging on the cyclone fence. A Tequila bottle, dozens of candles, flower bouquets and stuffed animals marked the spot where she died after ricocheting off the parked truck trailer. Police have not said who parked the container in the turning lane or how Marsh crossed over to hit it as she traveled eastbound.

Police have said alcohol and drugs do not appear to have been a factor in the collision, and the incident is still under investigation. A photo of the truck trailer given by a dockworker to Marsh’s family and shared with The Chronicle shows minor damage to the heavy equipment in the turning lane.

Anthony Leviege, Marsh’s brother who has worked for two decades as a longshoreman at the port, was hanging out with friends in downtown Oakland on Saturday night. A coworker called and said his sister had been in an accident, and Leviege drove to the scene expecting a minor fender bender. When he arrived, he was stopped by crime-scene tape, but could see his sister’s car in the distance crashed into a fence.

“I thought, ‘Oh s—, she had an accident!’” Leviege said, but he still didn’t grasp the severity. He walked up to an officer at the scene and told him that was his sister.

“She didn’t make it,” the officer told him.

Rasheeda Marsh, a 39-year-old dock worker, crashed her car into the front of this parked trailer at the Port of Oakland on Saturday night. She’s pictured in this family photo with her brother and son Lloyd.
Photo: Courtesy of Mariela Leviege
“It’s weird, you see people on TV and those people respond in a certain way, everybody breaks down,” he said. But he and his mother who came to the scene were more stoic and shocked, he said. His mother, he recalled, leaned over to her son and said, “It’s just you and me now.”

Leviege said the truck parking has been an issue for years, and he has contacted an attorney to weigh his options.

“It’s just a dangerous situation. At the end of the day ... at the top of the food chain, it’s the companies. The truckers just feel they got to be at the front of the line so they don’t have to wait four hours for their box, and they get paid by the box,” Leviege said. “If you got to feed your family by the box, you’d break the rules, too.

“The companies don’t make changes until someone dies,” he said. “Safety can’t affect profit, that’s the dilemma of capitalism.”

Tom Villeggiante, a supervisor with International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 91, said the illegally parked trucks have been an issue for years, and the unions have issued complaints.

“My son works down there, and he says he’s almost run into them before,” Villeggiante said. “If you’re not paying attention, you can run into them.”

Villeggiante said he’s heard of desperate truckers pulling out a container, dropping it into the median, immediately returning to the port to pick up a second container and then returning for the parked box later.

For Leviege, he’s now busy preparing his younger sister’s funeral and caring for her toddler son, Lloyd.

“She was just full of energy, always happy. ... She was very excited to become a longshoreman,” Leviege said. “She was a beautiful person, a free spirit.”

It was about a year ago that he helped bring his sister into the port workforce, where she held two jobs to provide for her son.

“For me, being a longshoreman has been a benefit to me, and I was glad I could help my sister,” Leviege said. “Now it feels like a curse.”

Matthias Gafni is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: matthias.gafni@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @mgafni

Tags: ILWU Local 10health safetydeath on the job
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