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UC Strike Over Palestinian Protests Expands to 3 More Campuses

By    |   Monday, 03 June 2024 08:03 PM EDT

The ongoing union strikes at the University of California (UC) system, sparked by the handling of pro-Palestinian student protests, have now spread to three additional campuses, intensifying a significant labor dispute, The Hill reported.

The UC system is experiencing an expansion of union strikes in response to its handling of recent pro-Palestinian student protests. UAW 4811, the largest union representing UC employees, announced on Instagram that UC San Diego and UC Santa Barbara would join the strikes on Monday, followed by UC Irvine on Wednesday.

"We are asking UC to join your academic community on the right side of history," said Joyce Chan, a neurosciences postdoctoral researcher and UAW 4811 postdoc recording secretary at UC San Diego. "We have been beaten and arrested for calling for peace and exercising our right to free speech."

Chan emphasized the need for the UC to address their grievances seriously, starting with the withdrawal of all criminal and disciplinary charges against those arrested for peaceful protest. "To stop the spread of this strike, UC needs to make serious progress towards resolving these ULPs [unfair labor practices]," she added.

The strikes, which initially began at UC Santa Cruz on May 2, have already expanded to UCLA and UC Davis. In total, five campuses, representing more than 31,000 union members, are now on strike. The union members were incensed by the universities' responses to the pro-Palestinian protests, particularly at UCLA, where numerous arrests occurred.

Violent confrontations erupted at UCLA amid nationwide demonstrations as counter-protesters assaulted pro-Palestinian activists, prompting allegations of delayed police response lasting several hours.

In response to the escalating strikes, the University of California administration expressed dismay. "We are disheartened that UAW continues publicly escalating its unlawful strike in violation of its contracts' no-strike clause and encouraging its members to disrupt and harm the ability of our students to navigate finals and other critical year-end activities successfully," UC stated on Friday.

The UC administration also sought intervention from the California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) to impose an injunction on the union's strike, labeling it as "precedent-setting" and unlawful. However, on Monday, PERB denied this request, allowing the union to continue its actions.

"It's heartening to see that PERB has once again upheld the law. It's time for UC to face reality," said Rafael Jaime, a PhD student at UCLA and the president of UAW 4811. Jaime reiterated the union's stance, criticizing UC's legal maneuvers and calling for the resolution of serious unfair labor practices.

"We said last week that if UC did not make progress in addressing the serious unfair labor practices, as many as three more campuses could be called to stand up," Jaime continued. "UC instead chose another week of legal saber-rattling, and now UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine, and UC San Diego are walking out. If management wants work to resume, they should resolve their serious unfair labor practices and stop wasting time and public resources on legal maneuvers. We stand ready to reach [a] resolution — where is UC?"

These strikes occur during the last week of classes for UC students before the spring semester ends, adding to the urgency and tension of the situation.

Jim Thomas

Jim Thomas is a writer based in Indiana. He holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science, a law degree from U.I.C. Law School, and has practiced law for more than 20 years.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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The ongoing union strikes at the University of California (UC) system, sparked by the handling of pro-Palestinian student protests, have now spread to three additional campuses, intensifying a significant labor dispute, The Hill reported.
uc, campuses, strike, labor, dispute, union, palestinian, protests, expands
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2024-03-03
Monday, 03 June 2024 08:03 PM
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