The Port of Oakland

An Economic and Community Success Story:

"First and foremost, we want to make sure that the money is well invested and we get the value that we pay for. That translates into a facility that is obviously well designed and is also very well constructed."
--Tay Yoshitani, Deputy Director, Port of Oakland

By any objective measure, the Port of Oakland’s Maritime and Aviation Project Labor Agreement ( MAPLA) has been a success.  The PLA was adopted by the Board of Port Commissioners in 200, and was intended to cover the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) for the Port’s Aviation and Maritime areas.  Initially adopted for five years, the PLA has been extended four times.

Besides spurring greater efficiencies and productivity, the Port of Oakland has been a model of community and workforce development.  In fact, an April 28, 2009 Progress Report presented to the Board of Port Commissioners Administrative Committee found:
  • MAPLA continues its cornerstone position as a catalyst for Local Impact Area (LIA) employment opportunities and sound labor relations.
  • MAPLA projects have not been subject to labor disruption and all disputes have been resolved using MAPLA’s agreed-to dispute resolution provisions.  Given the large number of contractors with differing labor relations approaches – both union and non-union – this is a remarkable feat.
  • The Unions have ensured the dispatch of the skilled workforce that the Port sought as part of its effort to ensure sound, on-budget and on-time, construction of its projects.  Unions continue to work successfully with non-union contractors working under the MAPLA to ensure that those contractors could use both their “core” employees and skilled union members from the hiring halls in their work crews.
  • The jointly administered employer-union apprenticeship programs have provided key opportunities for LIA and Local Business Area (LBA) residents to receive on-the-job training on the MAPLA construction projects and the start of many careers in the construction trades.  Since its inception, nearly 3.6 million craft hours have been worked under the MAPLA resulting in 1.1. million LIA craft hours of employment – or 31% of the total.  When LIA and LBA resident craft hours are combined, over 2.1 million – over 59% -  of the total craft hours were performed by LIA/LBA workers, well over the 50% goal established in MAPLA.  Of these, over 334,000 hours were worked by LIA/LBA apprentices – roughly 185 years of employment for LIA/LBA apprentices.
The report goes on to say, “We believe that it is the view of each of these three sectors (community/labor/contractors) that the Port’s commitment to local hire has both been a success in its own terms and has positively influenced developments in the larger community.  As the Port seeks to acquire important federal infrastructure and economic revitalization funds for its capital requirements, the MAPLA stands as a proven vehicle to use these new economic resources to bring about workforce and community economic development.”