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Breaking News: UC files ULP charges against UAW

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The University of California announced on May 17 that charges were filed against UAW, alleging a recently authorized strike to be “illegal.” This follows an announcement sent out earlier today from UAW 4811, calling on University of California, Santa Cruz’s UAW  members to walk off the job this upcoming Monday, May 20. Charges were filed with the state Public Employment Relations Board.

UAW 4811 members authorized the strike with a 79% vote in the affirmative on May 15. According to the UAW website, “several factors” including “unfair labor practices, strike readiness, and the role of each campus in the overall strategy,” determine if a campus is called to strike. UAW announced that the strike would be a Stand Up Strike, meaning not all campuses would begin striking at the same time. 

UAW’s five demands are amnesty for all students and faculty, the right to free speech on campus, and allowing researchers to opt from funding sources “tied to the military or oppression of Palestinians.” They also demand the disclosure of UC investments and divestment from weapons manufacturing. 

On May 16, the UC responded to the UAW vote to authorize a strike by saying it was unlawful. They stated that their contract agreement does not allow strikes such as, “sympathy strikes, stoppages or interruptions of work, or other concerted activities,” that disrupt university operations. UC also emphasized that they were not made aware of any connections between the student protests and labor disputes with the union. 

“UAW’s decision to strike over nonlabor issues violates the no-strike clause of their contracts with UC and sets a dangerous and far-reaching precedent that social, political and cultural issues — no matter how valid — that are not labor-related can support a labor strike,” UC associate vice president for Systemwide Labor Relations Melissa Matella said in the aforementioned press release. 

The UAW strike authorization occurred on the same day that the UCI Solidarity Encampment was cleared by police

Skylar Paxton is an Opinion Apprentice. She can be reached at paxtons@uci.edu.​​ 

Emilie Takahashi is a Campus News Staff Writer. She can be reached at takahae1@uci.edu


Laiyla Santillan is the Spring 2024 Editor in Chief. She can be reached at eic@newuniversity.org.