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Friday, October 22, 2021

UC workers to strike on Jan. 10 across UC campuses

Genesia Ting / AGGIE
Genesia Ting / AGGIE

University accused of violating state labor laws, bad faith bargaining

The University of California member-run union, International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 2010, will hold a one-day strike on all 10 UC campuses, five UC medical centers and the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab on Tuesday, Jan. 10. The strike aims to bring attention to supposed violations of state labor laws and bad faith bargaining from the University as well as demonstrate support for skilled trade workers on strike at UCLA.

Those on strike will include administrative support workers at all UC campuses along with electricians, elevator mechanics, facility workers and plumbers at UCLA and UC San Diego, amounting to around 12,800 workers. The Teamsters provided ample notice of the strike to the University to ensure public safety, especially at the medical centers. It is advised that the public reschedule all non-essential medical appointments on Jan. 10.

The Teamsters will use the Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) strike as a platform to engage with the University in a conversation regarding alleged violations of state labor laws.

“Our Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) strike is over the University’s violations of state law which have been numerous and include bargaining in bad faith, stalling negotiations, interfering with our right to engage in Union activities, unilaterally changing work rules and management threatening retaliation for participating in a strike action,” said Christian Castro, Teamster communications director, via e-mail.

The University disputes these claims and cites a lack of justification for the strike. According to executive director of Strategic Communications Dianne Klein, the University is still bargaining with the Teamsters and provides its workers with a competitive wage.

We strongly disagree that there is any basis for this strike,” Klein said via e-mail. “We are still bargaining with the Teamsters.”

Klein says that the University has offered the workers an 18 percent wage increase over six years, lower premiums for their health insurance and more choices for their pension plans.

In defense of the strike, the Teamsters cited a study by Occidental College that demonstrated 7 out of 10 UC workers face food insecurity due to a 24 percent wage decline over the past two decades. However, according to Teamster Research Analyst Timothy Mathews, the strike is not primarily to demand more pay, but rather to initiate conversation with the University about unfair labor practices.

“The University has demonstrated patterns of disrespect,” Mathews said. “We’re hopeful [UC President] Janet Napolitano will take initiative to show leadership.”

Students and faculty plan to experience delays due to the strike. Teamsters also plan to picket and hold rallies at strategic locations around the state. Strikers plan to refuse deliveries of food, laundry, construction materials and UPS packages.

 

Written by: Lindsay Floyd — campus@theaggie.org

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