Teamsters Local 2010 Initiates Mass Walkout and Strikes at University of California
Disruptions, Closures and Delays at UC Campuses
[ Photo by Teamsters Local 2010. "Over 600 strikers at UCLA shut down the intersection of Wilshire and Westwood today!!!!"
(California) Demonstrations and pickets have closed down intersections and caused delays at all UC campuses and medical centers today as the 12,000 administrative clerical support workers represented by Teamsters Local 2010 strike the University of California.
The strike is over the University’s numerous violations of state law and unfair labor practices, including the failure to bargain in good faith, unlawful delays in bargaining and threatening retaliation against workers for engaging in union activities, and is in sympathy with the UCLA skilled trades workers who are on a five-day strike.
Protests and picket lines by over 600 strikers and their supporters at UCLA’s main campus resulted in the closure of the intersection of Wilshire and Westwood today and disrupted campus medical centers and administrative offices, including Ackerman Student Plaza, Murphy Hall and the Luskin Conference Center. In addition hundreds of picketers surrounded the UCLA Santa Monica Hospital and UCLA buildings at LAX and the Wilshire Center.
In San Diego, both major medical centers were confronted with pickets and demonstrations. At La Jolla Thornton medical complex, hundreds of protesters and picket lines impacted two major intersections. Pickets have surrounded Hillcrest Hospital throughout the day.
At UCSF, the center medical plaza area at Parnassus was filled with striking workers and Teamster supporters. At UC Santa Cruz, roads were closed, including the main entrance to the campus, as students and faculty joined the striking workers in protest. At UC Berkeley protests resulted in traffic slowdowns and the turning away of deliveries. Pickets at other campuses including Irvine, Davis, Santa Barbara and Riverside continue statewide this afternoon. Classes have been cancelled and delays continue in areas such as patient billing and collections, childcare services, student housing, sporting and conference venues, instruction, research and administrative offices.
“Today’s strike shows that the workers who make the University of California work will no longer put up with unfair treatment. We won’t rest until UC bargains in good faith for a fair contract that pays workers enough to live,” explains Jason Rabinowitz, Secretary Treasurer of Teamsters Local 2010.
Today’s striking workers include administrative assistants, collection representatives, childcare assistants and public safety dispatchers. These are specialized workers, 45% of whom have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher. The workforce is 81% female and 63% people of color. The wages of the administrative, clerical support workers are so low that over 70% of these full-time workers suffer from hunger or food insecurity according to an October 2016 Occidental College report. The workers have seen their real wages decline by 24% over the past two decades.
The UCLA skilled trades workers are on the final day of a five-day strike over the University’s unfair labor practices. Skilled trades workers at both UCLA and UC San Diego, who are represented by Teamsters Local 2010, are paid below prevailing wage by as much as $10 an hour.
Disruptions and pickets are likely to continue at the University until the Teamster contract dispute is settled.