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UC Workers Strike on April 10: How to Show Your Solidarity

AFSCME3299
By Connor Gorman

Solidarity forever! The UC still hasn't agreed to provide basic rights and dignity to many of its workers (much less what they truly deserve) while simultaneously intimidating, threatening, and retaliating against workers for their participation in labor activities. Because of this, AFSCME 3299 (which covers service and patient care workers) filed an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge against the UC and will be striking next Wednesday (April 10) along with UPTE-CWA 9119 (which covers technical and professional employees).

There are a variety of ways that students, workers (who aren't part of AFSCME 3299 or UPTE-CWA 9119), and community members can support the strike and demand an end to the UC's blatant violation of workers' rights along with demanding that the UC provide all of its workers with a living wage while maintaining and expanding essential benefits and protections like good, affordable healthcare; a dignified retirement plan; and job security. The main way that anyone can show their support is by joining the picket line for any period of time that they're able to between 7am and 5pm on the corner of College Park and Russell Blvd., while prioritizing attendance at the 12pm rally if possible (or if you're in Sacramento there will be another picket line at the Medical Center). You can even study or grade at the picket line.

Another way to support the striking workers is by posting about the strike and the workers’ demands on social media and sharing these posts with others through email listservs. In addition, people should watch out for announcements about future strikes, especially over the next few months, and be prepared to support them as well because it would be nice if the UC started treating its workers well even without external pressure but given their history this doesn't seem likely (while forcing them to treat their workers, as well as students, better through struggle does).

Finally, for any ASE (Academic Student Employee; TAs, AIs, Readers, and Paid Tutors) at a UC campus or facility, the contract between UAW 2865 and the UC guarantees you the right to not cross picket lines. If any ASE chooses to exercise this right and not work next Wednesday (April 10) due to the strike, the UC isn't allowed to impose any consequences on them beyond possibly docking their pay for the hours that they otherwise would have worked. Contact the Davis Unit of UAW 2865 (which still has some redeeming qualities even if UAW 2865's statewide bodies don't) if you face any sort of retaliation for acting in solidarity with fellow UC workers.

Despite the university’s attempts to trick students and workers into blaming each other for our hardships, we know that our interests are intrinsically connected while the real blame lies with the university’s (and the state’s) priorities. Meeting the needs of both students and workers is only possible through collective struggle because when students and workers fight, we win!

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