LOS ANGELES – For two years, members of AFSCME Local 3299 have been calling on the University of California (UC) system to eliminate income, racial and gender inequality in its workforce and to end outsourcing work to contractors. They are not alone.
The 15,000 technical, health care and research professionals of UPTE-CWA 9119 have long raised similar issues with UC and have met with the same inaction on the part of UC administrators. So when UPTE’s research and technical workers went on strike starting Wednesday, about 5,000 AFSCME members joined in solidarity for that one day.
UPTE joined Local 3299 for two AFSCME-initiated strikes last year – in May and October – and AFSCME members decided it was time to support their UPTE brothers and sisters.
“It wasn’t a question of whether or not to come out, we needed to come out,” said Rosa Hernandez, a custodian at the University of California-San Diego.
“UPTE has backed us up in our last two strikes, showing up for more than one day and without pay just to show us solidarity,” she said. “The fight is the same, and the more united we stay, especially during these times, the more power we have and with that we can win the contract that we demand. We’re fighting for a better future.”