Note: The OWC office will be closed December 12th, 2019 through January 6th, 2020 for winter holidays. Normal business hours will resume Tuesday, January 7th.
What geographical area does the Oakland Workers' Collective serve?
We serve all of Oakland. If your project is outside Oakland, we may be able to accommodate you, however you will need to provide transportation or reimburse the worker(s) for the cost of transportation to the project site.
What types of jobs can OWC workers do?
Our members have experience as movers, painters, gardeners, construction workers, set-up workers for events, janitors, and more. If you have a job not included in this list, please give us a call and we’ll try to find someone to suit your needs.
How much does it cost?
The workers have collectively developed a minimum wage starting at $17/hour, and increasing according to the difficulty and skill required for the job. Submit a request with details of your project and we will provide you with an estimate.
NOTE: Per California labor law, you are required to pay time and half overtime rates to workers for any days lasting more than 8 hours.
Do I have to hire for a set minimum number of hours?
No. However, any project less than 3 hours will be set at a minimum fixed amount of $60.
What if the job requires specialized skills, tools or vehicles?
We will do our best to find a worker with the required equipment and/or skills. Please note that there is an extra fee for use of workers’ tool(s)/vehicle(s). This fee is typically at least $50 extra on top of the wages for the worker(s), but could be more depending upon the tool(s) and vehicle(s) required for your project.
How are workers and employers matched?
OWC will match you to the best worker for your project. When you contact the OWC to request a worker for your project, we ask for details regarding the project. We then match you with the next worker on the list who meets your needs. For example, if you need an expert painter, we will find the next painter waiting to work; we will not match you with the first person on the list if they do not know how to paint. We also try to accommodate preferences regarding English proficiency and age, and employers are welcome to request workers by name. Please keep in mind that quality matches take time and therefore we ask for your patience.
Are your workers qualified?
Yes. Most workers have years of experience in tasks such as yard work, moving, or cleaning. For more complex projects, such as carpentry, we suggest you call in advance to ensure you get a qualified worker suitable for the project. It is important to note that the OWC offers job skills training and certifications in a variety of vocations to help workers be efficient, safe employees.
What forms of payment do the workers accept?
Our workers do not accept credit cards or personal checks. Please ensure cash payment is available. You are required to pay workers daily regardless of project length.
How much of the pay goes to the worker?
100%. All of your payment will go to the worker. The Oakland Workers’ Collective does not charge for its employment linkage, as it is simply a vehicle for retention in our Immigrant Rights and Empowerment work.
Am I liable if a worker is injured while working at my residence?
California law requires a homeowner’s insurance policy to provide worker’s compensation coverage for injuries incurred by a “residential employee” injured during their course of employment by the homeowner. A “residential employee” is someone who has earned more than $100 during the preceding 90 days. Most homeowner’s policies also include coverage for personal liability and medical payments to others as a result of injury while on your property; however, you should contact the provider of your homeowner’s insurance policy for more information. Finally, as in all situations when you invite a guest onto your property, make certain that the environment is safe and you are not consciously putting someone into a dangerous position.
What if I don’t speak Spanish?
No problem! OWC employment specialists are available to assist you with translation when workers are hired. You can also call us during the project to ask for interpretation over the phone (as staff capacity permits). We are here to make the experience work for you, and make hiring a practice you are likely to repeat.
What if I'm not satisfied with the job once it's completed?
We value your feedback and would like to hear about your experience. We are constantly trying to improve our service. Click here to provide us feedback.
Do the workers accept gratuities?
Yes, but gratuities are strictly optional. They are always appreciated, but not expected.