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UAW 4811 Votes Overwhelmingly to Authorize Strike Against University of California System

Union Responds to Alleged Unfair Labor Practices with Strike Authorization Vote

United Auto Workers 4811, the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, has voted to strike. The strike authorization vote was called after the union filed Unfair Labor Practice charges on May 3 against the University of California system and stated that their union has five demands for the UC system. 

According to the UAW 4811 website, the reason for the charges and the authorization of the strike vote is “in response to UC’s actions against peaceful protesters – including UAW 4811 members – over the past week.” The press release mentioned the arrests at UCSD and UCLA and also stated, “This unprecedented crackdown on free speech on University campuses is unacceptable….Our members have been beaten, concussed, pepper sprayed, both by counter-protestors and by police forces.”

UAW 4811 members voted, in a supermajority of 79%, to authorize the strike. Their union represents 48,000 academic workers, including student researchers, graduate tutors, teaching assistants, readers, and postdoctoral and academic researchers at 10 UC campuses. The previous strike, called in 2022, only lasted for ten days before an agreement was reached. 

The union released a statement via its Twitter social media profile which said, “19,780 Teaching Assistants, Student Researchers, Tutors, Readers, Postdocs, Specialists, Researchers, Project Scientists, and Coordinators of Public Programs, have voted on whether to authorize our union’s Executive Board to call a strike, if circumstances justify, in response to UC’s unprecedented acts of intimidation and retaliation directed at our rights as academic employees to free speech, protest, and collective action.

The vote has passed in all units.

The results are in: 79% of participating members voted YES to authorize a strike if circumstances justify. On Friday, the Eboard will evaluate and announce whether to call the first campus or campuses to Stand Up.”

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