The pressure of our campaign is mounting! Wednesday’s UPTE Research and Technical strike drew the largest press coverage of any UC strike yet. Never before have UC workers been joined on the picket lines by such a prominent figure as US Senator and leading Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders, who called out UC executives in blunt terms for their labor practices.
Thousands of UPTE members braved morning rain to show our determination, with AFSCME 3299 and student allies turning out in solidarity. Our strike received national coverage in the New York Times, Washington Post, U.S. News And World Report, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Sacramento Bee, NPR, and other outlets.
“It is a sad state of affairs when people who work at this university cannot live in this community because they cannot afford to buy housing or pay the rent,” Senator Sanders said. – The New York Times
The success of our strike signals that if we continue to organize, we will win!
Click here to sign a strike pledge to show your commitment to taking further action if we need to protest UC executives’ illegal bargaining tactics or in solidarity with other UC workers! We will keep fighting for a fair contract, and won’t stop until we’ve won!
“Sanders blasted the University of California for acting like a ‘corporate-type employer,’ and framed the workers’ demands as part of a larger labor struggle. ‘What we are seeing all across this country is a war being waged against working people in America,’ he said.” – LA Times
“Union officials characterized the strike as a protest of growing income inequality at the university. ‘For over a year, the University of California has continued to ignore the well-founded concerns of the workers that make this the finest research institution in the world,’ Jamie McDole, President of UPTE-CWA Local 9119, said in a statement.” – The New York Times
“Samrrah Raouf, a 10-year employee of UC Davis Health, and other workers said they’re concerned not only about UC executives making as much as 10 times what many pickets earn in a year but also about how outsourcing is affecting the security of middle-wage jobs.” – The Sacramento Bee
“It’s really a question of priorities. It’s got nothing to do with their financial reality,” agreed Erin Brightwell, a speech pathologist and member of the union. “The university is taking out too much money out to pay high-paid executives six-figure salaries and raises and bonuses instead of taking care of their front-line staff and workers,” said UPTE-CWA 9119 spokesperson Todd Kolze. – CBS News, San Francisco
“It’s insulting for UC executives to continue to try to force us into accepting these offers,” UC San Diego information-technology worker David Carlos said in a statement released by the union. “It shows a profound lack of commitment to the institution as a whole. Research and technology drive UC’s greatness and the short-sighted attempt by UC executives to undermine and outsource career work will be felt by students, patients and the public at large.” – ABC News, San Diego
“[A]s social workers, we have an ethic to care for people above all else. In all my years of being a therapist and working with trauma, substance use, and the heaviest of issues, I’ve learned that if I’m not cared for, I cannot care for. Students get that. That’s why so many of them are here supporting us.” – Tobirus Newby, Clinical Social Worker at UC Berkeley, In These Times
“Our members have been really inspired by the Red for Ed movement and we definitely feel like we’re part of it,” said Dan Russell, executive vice president of UPTE and IT worker at UC Berkeley. “Budget cuts and outsourcing affect us but we see how that pain extends to students, patients, and the public at large every day. We have to keep fighting together until we halt the assault on public education.” – Jacobin Magazine
“Every struggle, whether it’s a class struggle, whether it’s a struggle for social justice,” said UPTE Vice President Joaquin Chavez, “all of these all share the common component of fighting to force a system to respect our full humanity… This may be just a one day strike, but it’s one step in a much larger social struggle.” – The Real News Network