by Rachel Swan
Three days after our story on alleged wage violations at Oakland Airport went to press, local union UNITE HERE sent a formal letter to the airport's primary concessionaire contractor, HMSHost, and all of its subtenants, announcing a consumer boycott at the end of August. Union representatives have asked the public to boycott Burger King, Jamba Juice, See's Candies, Auntie Anne's Pretzels, Subway, Otaez, Gordon Biersch, TechShowCase, Silver Dragon, and World Passage Duty Free and Travel Retail for what they say are a whole host of unfair labor practices — from circumventing the living wage ordinance, to dodging state overtime laws, to punishing workers for attempting to unionize. (While employees of concession stands owned by HMSHost all belong to a labor union, their peers at the other sub-lease concessionaires lack any such protection.) The port, state, and National Labor Relations Board are currently investigating claims filed from 18 workers, two of whom were recently fired — allegedly for lobbying their employers.