June 18, 2024 Your Source for Brentwood News

Thousands of UAW Members Join Strike at UCLA and UC Davis Over Unfair Labor Practices

Union Demand UC Respect Free Speech Rights and Provide Safe Work Environments

Thousands of UAW Local 4811 members at UCLA and UC Davis began a campus-wide Unfair Labor Practice strike today, marking the second round of such actions. UAW 4811 represents about 48,000 workers statewide, including 6,400 at UCLA and 5,700 at UC Davis. These academic workers, who handle most of the teaching, research, and grading at these institutions, are joining 2,000 of their colleagues at UC Santa Cruz who walked off the job on May 20.

Academic workers at up to three more campuses may be called to strike next week if the University of California does not make sufficient progress in resolving the Unfair Labor Practices (ULPs).

The ULPs stem from UC’s response to nonviolent protests by the academic community across the state. Allegations include the deployment of militarized police officers from various law enforcement agencies to forcibly remove and arrest peaceful protesters at UCLA, UC Irvine, and UC San Diego; making unilateral changes to employee discipline standards, free speech rights, and academic freedom; and disciplining and suspending employees engaged in peaceful protest.

“This is a crisis of the university’s own making,” said Anny Viloria Winnett, Academic Student Employee Unit Chair of UAW 4811 at UCLA. “Our ULP strike is in response to UC’s unlawful actions. The academic community across the state has been peacefully protesting. In response, we have been kicked, maced, and attacked with gas canisters and fireworks, and riot police have pointed weapons at our heads. Many have been arrested, disciplined, and banned from the campuses where they live and work. We demand that UC respect our rights to free speech and peaceful protest embedded in our rights as University employees. We are on the right side of history, and the right side of the law.”

“People are incredibly fired up,” said Emily Weintraut, Academic Student Employee Unit Chair of UAW 4811 at UC Davis. “There is a lot of momentum because people are extremely upset about the seriousness of the university’s threat to our right to free speech and a safe work environment. We are asking UC to drop the charges against everyone who has been unfairly arrested or disciplined as a first step to resolve their Unfair Labor Practices, and respect our rights to free speech and peaceful assembly that they had guaranteed us.”

Academic workers at UCLA rallied at noon at the Bruin Bear steps, while those at UC Davis workers gathered at 11:30 a.m. at the Memorial Union Quad.

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