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Alcatraz ferry workers, UC Davis students strike

Alcatraz Ferry approaching Alcatraz Island from San Francisco.
Daniel Ramirez
Flickr / Creative Commons
Alcatraz Ferry approaching Alcatraz Island from San Francisco.

Last week, Alcatraz ferry workers authorized a strike amid labor negotiations with management. This past Saturday, over Memorial Day weekend, workers walked off the job and took to the picket line.

Employees of Alcatraz City Cruises have been in negotiations for over a year and a half to secure a new contract. The union’s primary concerns are increasing wages, securing benefits, and establishing more consistent scheduling.

The Hornblower Group, which owns Alcatraz City Cruises, say they were “surprised and disappointed” that a work stoppage was authorized. The company stated that they plan to hire replacement workers to maintain services during the strike, and invited union workers to cross the picket line to avoid losing pay.

Alcatraz Island takes in over 1.4 million visitors annually, making it one of the largest tourist attractions in the city.

In other labor news, CapRadio reports hundreds of researchers and teaching assistants at UC Davis began striking Tuesday over the University of California system’s response to pro-Palestine protests.

Workers are criticizing the arrests of fellow union members at campuses in Los Angeles and San Diego. They also say the UC system changed a disciplinary policy without bargaining first.

Emily Weintraut is the unit chair for academic student employees.

“Here at Davis, while we haven’t maybe had as severe issues as other campuses, we are one university system and we are one UAW 4811. And so that’s why we’re out here on strike.”

The student encampment at UC Davis, which was set up three weeks ago, supports the union. Up to 250 people stay there on any given night.

Workers voted to be on strike until June 30th and encourage the UC system to negotiate before then.

UC officials had requested an injunction, citing that the strike was illegal because it was politically motivated and has nothing to do with workplace-related issues. The Public Employment Relations Board rejected the request.

Pat McMahon is a member of the 2024 KALW Audio Academy, an audio producer, sound artist, and radio enthusiast.