Our union, UAW Local 2865, has voted to call for a two-day strike. On day one of the strike, certain campuses will be striking over unfair labor practices that particularly impact members on their campuses. On day two of the strike, members will strike statewide to protest numerous Unfair Labor Practices (ULPs).
UCSB will strike for one day on Thursday, April 3rd over unlawful intimidation of workers and management’s refusal to negotiate over TA/student ratios.
Unfair Labor Practice: Intimidation of Workers
UC administrators are barred by law from interfering with collective actions taken by workers, including petitioning managers, or, under certain circumstances, engaging in strikes. Last fall, on a number of occasions, representatives of UC management unlawfully interfered with our rights to take collective action.
• On November 20, UC student workers engaged in a one-day solidarity strike with service and health care workers represented by AFSCME 3299, who were themselves striking against unlawful intimidation by UC managers. In the days preceding the strike, management representatives sent misleading and intimidating emails to student workers in an attempt to discourage them from engaging in this protected strike. At UCLA, administrators sent an email warning international student workers that participation in the strike could result in the loss of work visas, which allow them to remain in the country legally. At UC Irvine, graduate division sent emails to teaching assistants saying they were responsible for avoiding “disruption” of classes, while at UC Davis workers were informed (falsely) that participating in the strike was unlawful. At UC Berkeley, a number of chairs sent along this and other misleading emails designed to pressure UAW workers against striking at the encouragement of Vice Chancellor Breslauer. Our union has filed a charge with the Public Employees Relations Board (PERB) over these incidents, and is awaiting a preliminary ruling.
• On October 29, approximately 50 student workers at UC Berkeley gathered to deliver a letter, signed by 750 workers, to the Graduate Dean about student worker living and working conditions. When those assembled arrived at the Dean’s office, they were met with a locked door and a handful of police officers, who soon began filming those who gathered quietly outside of the Dean’s office. Labor law is very clear: it is unlawful for police officers working for employers to film protected activities undertaken by employees, such as delivering a letter. When police officers film employees, this has a chilling effect on the political activities of those filmed, who may fear retaliation on the job. Our union filed a ULP charge with PERB and PERB issued an initial ruling stating that management’s acts do constitute an unfair labor practice.
How to Take Action at UCSB
You can do your part whether or not you will be teaching onThursday, April 3rd.
For those who are working as a TA, Tutor, or Reader on April 3rd: Do not hold sections, grade papers, hold office hours or perform any other work-related duties. Performing any duties while withholding part of your labor can be considered an illegal “partial strike” – so strike safely and strike completely. Join the picket lines, which we will provide additional information about in the coming days. The statement you make through ceasing your economic activity on campus demonstrates the sincerity of our desire to be treated fairly in a way that few other actions can. We will also be providing additional resources on how to strike safely and legally while maximizing your impact.
For those who are not working on April 3rd: Join the picket line and rallies. Participate visibly. Your participation on the day of the strike will help create a critical mass that will make participation for people who are canceling work safer and more effective. Even if you are not performing duties as a teacher, tutor, or reader that day you are still contributing to the economic activity of campus – and you still have the option to withhold your regular participation and go on strike but without any of the complications of labor law. You have incredible power and opportunity to contribute.
For everybody: Spread the word. We will be distributing information that will help you inform your friends and coworkers about participation in the strike. In the mean time, please fill out the following participation pledge so that we can strike effectively together: http://tinyurl.com/kau3msb.
We Will Not Tolerate Abuse – We Will Win
We have the right to engage in strike actions to challenge unfair labor practices. It is critical that we do so. When management abuses our rights and expects us to work, they make it clear that they take our labor for granted. Let’s take action together to insist that management end its unfair labor practice of intimidation!