Education, Features, National

University of California Workers Hold Fourth One-Day Strike

April 12, 2019

By Steve Wishnia

Members of AFSCME Local 3299 and University Professional and Technical Employees-CWA 9119 have been working without a contract for over a year.

DAVIS, Calif.—Two unions representing 39,000 service and technical workers at the University of California staged their fourth one-day strike in the last year April 10, picketing outside the university’s five medical centers. “I can’t think of a better way to celebrate my birthday than to be at a union rally,” United Farmworkers cofounder Dolores Huerta, 89, told picketers in Davis. “When we are fighting for workers’ rights, we are doing the most sacred thing that we can do.” The two unions, AFSCME Local 3299 and University Professional and Technical Employees-CWA 9119, have been working under expired contracts for more than a year, and they filed unfair labor practice complaints with the state Public Employment Relations Board March 29. This strike, AFSCME 3299 executive director Liz Perlman wrote in the UCLA Daily Bruin Apr. 10, was about “something far more fundamental than wages, benefits, or staffing levels. It’s about employees’ ability to exercise their right to voice concerns over working conditions—free of interference or employer retaliation—at all.” The university administration, she said, has retaliated against workers engaged in union activities, offered others financial incentives to cross picket lines, and  “effectively condoned physical assault against picketing workers.”

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April 12, 2019

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