A ‘Historic Moment’ for Campus Solidarity


‘Solidarity between campus workers in different sectors is really central to changing the power relations at universities so that their operations actually reflect the interests of the majority of the people who work and study here.’ In a labor action rarely seen on university campuses, graduate student employees in the University of California systemannounced on Wednesday that they plan to strike alongside university service workers walking off the job next week due to allegations of illegal retaliation against members of their union. After members of UAW 2865, which represents 16,000 UC graduate teaching and research assistants, voted to authorize a strike last week, the union pledged Wednesday to join the picket lines when service and patient care workers represented by AFSCME 3299 stage a one-day walkout on November 20. Graduate student organizers call the decision to stage a sympathy strike alongside other campus workers a “historic moment” for campus solidarity that comes in the midst of contentious contract negotiations between the university’s largest unions and the UC administration. “Academic workers standing in solidarity with service workers will send a clear message to UC management that its employees will not tolerate intimidation from bosses or the decline in working conditions,” says Marco Antonio Rosales, a union steward and graduate instructor.

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