A one-day strike by 40,000 union members at University of California hospitals drew presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders to rally and criticism from UC administration.
On Wednesday, 40,000 union members went out on strike for one day to protest a lack of progress in negotiations with the University of California.
Research and technical workers who are members of the University Professional and Technical Employees-Communications Workers of America were joined in a sympathy strike by members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
Claire Doan, a UC Office of the President spokesperson, criticized the unions for engaging in “organized theatrics.”
“Union leaders are quick to call for a member vote on a strike, but not on any of UC’s many proposals. They claim they’re losing jobs and getting displaced, yet for the past five years they’ve enjoyed substantial growth in membership and earnings.”
“If UPTE and AFSCME leaders had channeled as much effort into negotiations as they do into organized theatrics, we’d have a deal by now.”
Doan added union demands for pay increases over four years are inconsistent with the pay increases of other UC employees, and the University cannot justify increasing the wages of members of these unions without increasing the wages of other employees.
Sanders rallies for strikers…
Sen. Bernie Sanders [I-VT], a presidential candidate, rallied with about 400 strikers in Westwood:
“The University of California must be a model employer, it must be an employer that respects its workers, and it must be an employer that treats its workers with dignity and it must sit down with its unions and negotiate in good faith,” Sanders stated.