HomeLatest NewsMassive Strike Looms: 48,000 California Student Workers Vote to Protest Crackdowns

Massive Strike Looms: 48,000 California Student Workers Vote to Protest Crackdowns

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Wait until 48,000 graduate students, teaching assistants and researchers at 17 University of California campuses go on strike.

The students voted for their union, United Auto Workers, 4811 to be able to strike whenever they felt it was appropriate. The crackdowns on campus are ongoing, so it shouldn’t take too long. The University of California Irvine police removed a pro-Palestinian camp Wednesday evening.

Why go on strike?

Rafael Jaime is the co-president of the union and a PhD student at UCLA. He said that the goal was to “maximize confusion and chaos” in schools which sent police to clear pro-Palestine camp.

“Our members were beaten, concussed, and pepper sprayed by both counter-protesters as well as police forces. In a press release, the union stated that it was their responsibility as a union to stand by them. “For the situation to de-escalate, UC must engage substantively with the protesters’ concerns — which are focused on UC’s investments in industries and companies that profit off the suffering in Gaza.”

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The only problem is that it’s against the law for student union members to strike. The president’s office sent a warning to graduate student workers that there would severe consequences for them if they went out on strike.

The University believes that the Union’s strikes are illegal, and therefore, a stoppage of work is not protected as a strike activity. Participating in the strike will not excuse or change an employee’s regular work duties and expectations. You could face corrective actions if you fail to meet your obligations, unlike in a protected strike,” said the letter, which was not signed, from the President’s office.

Los Angeles Times:

Academic workers would strike similarly to the recent hotel strikes that took place in Southern California. Jaime explained that the walkouts wouldn’t target all campuses simultaneously, but rather one at a time, depending on how responsive administrations were to pro-Palestinian activists.

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UC Riverside, UC Berkeley, and other universities have come to agreements with protesters. They will end encampments in the future and look into divesting from arms companies. Leaders of these universities rejected calls for boycotting academic exchanges and partnerships with Israeli Universities or targeting Israel specifically.

While some Jewish students supported pro-Palestinian demonstrations, national Jewish organizations have criticized divestment, calling it antisemitic as it seeks to delegitimize Israel, the only nation that is predominantly Jewish.

The student unionists have another small problem: they already hold a contract.

The vote on the strike “is not about the economy”. The strike vote is not about getting a raise or receiving more benefits. “It’s political,” says Jeff Schuhrke a labor history professor at SUNY.

Amnesty is one of their demands for arrested students and faculty. This would mean that any expulsions and student records will be erased.

The writing is on my wall. The majority of schools that have dealt with student unrest are going to follow the orders of their bosses and divest themselves of Israeli companies. They’ll give in if it means keeping the peace.

Antisemites win because of the ignorance and stupidity of their peers.

 

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