Union workers set up a picket line at the Oakland Airport at 9:30 p.m. Monday night, kicking off 24 hours of planned strike activities.
Members of SEIU Local 1021 said they plan to expand the strike to the port's shipping facilities Tuesday morning.
There were custodians, electricians, plumbers and painters involved in the picketing.
It was no coincidence that they choose Monday to walk off the job. This is one of the busiest travel days of the year at Oakland Airport.
And while plenty of people are getting away for Thanksgiving, airport union workers hope port officials get their message loud and clear.
"What our members want is for the port to come back to the table and sit down with us realistically and fairly negotiate a contract," said SEIU Local 1021 Vice President Gary Jimenez.
The union representing about 220 maintenance and custodial workers charges the Port of Oakland leadership has been withholding important information about its finances. Officials with the Port deny the allegations.
"The port has been completely transparent in our negotiations," said Port of Oakland Director of External Affairs Isaac Kos-Read.
The port said it faces serious financial challenges, including $1.3 billion in outstanding debt. It is now asking employees to start contributing to their retirement.
"We've been offering 100 percent employer paid defined benefit programs across the board, and they just aren't sustainable anymore," said Kos-Read.
Union officials said the picket lines will spread to the port's container facilities in an effort to shut down shipping Tuesday morning at 6 a.m.
"We will have plenty of people out there at the port in front of all those gates out there and we believe it will have the impact we intend it to have," said Jimenez.
"It remains to be seen exactly unfolds tomorrow so we're prepared to minimize any potential disruption to the workers and shippers and truckers who rely on the port to be fully operational every day," said Kos-Read.
The picket line at the airport was not expected to disrupt holiday travel.
Watchdogs are questioning an exclusive agreement between the City of Oakland and a non-profit group, tapped to lead a multi-million dollar project to redevelop the area around the Coliseum BART station.