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92% of UC Service Workers Vote to Strike

Low-Wage Workers Say 'Disrespect' and 'Bad-Faith Bargaining' Are Key
For Immediate Release
March 16, 2005

Contact: Jane McDonald, Organizing Director
510-844-1160 x117
510-468-7113 (cell)

92% UC Service Workers Vote to Strike
Low-wage workers say "disrespect" and "bad-faith bargaining" are key

Oakland, CA – 92% of University of California union members who serve food, clean buildings, and help run the campuses and medical centers voted to strike UC for bargaining in bad faith and refusing to sign a fair contract.

"Service workers have spoken with one voice to say that we are willing to do whatever it takes – including strike – to force UC to bargain in good faith and provide chances to advance, family wages, and respect for our quality work," said Julian Posadas, a 10-year principal food service worker at UC Santa Cruz. Posadas is also on the Executive Board of AFSCME Local 3299, the union that represents the 7,300 service workers.

Voting took place at all UC campuses and medical centers between March 10 and 16.

Negotiations are stalled on over 30 issues, including fair wages and an end to discrimination and favoritism in hiring and promotions. UC unfairly refuses to bargain on a number of issues, including safer staffing and workload. The union has filed unfair labor practice charges, and workers are upset about UC breaking the law.

The contract expired June 30, 2004 and was extended to January 31, 2005.
An elected bargaining committee met with UC management over 24 times since September 2004 before declaring impasse and entering state-mandated mediation and fact-finding. If UC does not change its positions, the bargaining committee will make the decision on the timing of a strike.

UC students, faculty, staff and community supporters have attended rallies and picket lines in support of the lowest paid workers in the UC system, who are mostly immigrant and minority workers.

A recent report issued by the National Economic Development and Law Center found that 46% of UC service workers earned wages to low to support a family. It also found UC workers earning much less than workers at California State University (CSU) and many community colleges. A copy of the report is available at:
www.afscme3299.org/reportonucworkerpoverty1/

UC angered workers by giving its top medical executives $2.4 million in bonuses in October 2004 while its lowest paid workers had not received a raise in over two years.
 
 


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Re: 92% of UC Service Workers Vote to Strike

Anyone know when this strike goes into effect? Will it be when school starts on Monday? Later?
 

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