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OC judge orders temporary halt to UAW strikes at UC schools

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An Orange County Superior Court judge ordered a temporary halt to the Union Auto Workers (UAW) Stand Up Strike across University of California (UC) campuses today. Under the order, union members will be unable to strike until June 27. The strike is currently set to end on June 30. 

In a statement from the UC Office of the President, associate vice president for Systemwide Labor Relations Melissa Matella, spoke on the court’s decision.

“We are extremely grateful for a pause in this strike so our students can complete their academic studies,” Matella stated. “We respect the advocacy and progressive action towards issues that matter to our community and our community’s right to engage in lawful free speech activities … However, UAW’s strike is unrelated to employment terms, violates the parties’ agreements, and runs contrary to established labor principles.” 

The court order follows UC’s May 21 request for injunctive relief to end the UAW strike with the California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB). PERB denied this request but issued a complaint against UAW on May 23. A revised filing of UC’s request was also denied, and PERB filed a complaint against UC on June 3. UC filed a lawsuit against UAW on June 5, alleging breach of contract and violations of no-strike clauses. 

UAW members at UCI were called to strike starting on June 5 due to Unfair Labor Practices charges (ULP) against UC for the university system’s response to pro-Palestine protests and encampments. Rafael Jaime, president of UAW 4811, responded to the court’s order to halt strikes in a press release.

“UC academic workers are facing down an attack on our whole movement,” Jaime stated. “[PERB] has twice found no grounds to halt our strike. I want to make [it] clear that this struggle is far from over. In the courtroom, the law is on our side and we’re prepared to keep defending our rights — and outside, 48,000 workers are ready for a long fight.”

Beatrice Lee is a News Editor. She can be reached at beatrirl@uci.edu.

Edited by Jaheem Conley.