Facing an $18 million budget shortfall, the Port of Oakland’s board of commissioners has alerted employees that it may eliminate 70 to 80 positions within the next few months, said Commissioner Victor Uno.
With airlines in bankruptcy, high jet fuel costs, declines in imports, and a high debt service to repay, port officials decided to reduce or eliminate new capital improvement projects and eliminate at least 70 jobs this year, according to port spokesperson Marilyn Sandifur.
Layoffs may be minimized by eliminating vacant positions and instituting a hiring freeze. But some people will also lose their jobs, officials said, although the exact number, and when the layoffs will occur, will not be known until the port adopts its budget in July.
Since 95 percent of the port’s work force is unionized, Executive Director Omar Benjamin and commissioners have been conferring with the pertinent unions; another meeting will be held later this month, Uno said.