UAW Statement on University of California Academic Workers Taking Their Strike Vote

Forty-eight thousand academic workers in four UAW bargaining units at the University of California system, including 17,000 student researchers who are fighting for their first contract, are in contract negotiations. Very shortly, they all will take strike authorization votes.

“Our members in the University of California system organized their union to win job protections, stop persistent bullying, harassment and discrimination from university supervisors, as well as address the crushing burden of housing expenses,” says UAW President Ray Curry. “This vote sends a strong message to UC that UAW members are ready to fight because they deserve dignity, respect and a fair contract. I know our over one million active and retired members agree.”

“The University of California is a premier public university system, but there is nothing exceptional about how they have chosen to behave,” adds Region 8 Director Mitchell Smith. “They chose to break the law and frustrate the bargaining process instead of respecting the rights of their thousands of academic workers.”

By taking this strike authorization vote, academic workers at UC are saying they are ready to join the powerful history of UAW members fighting and striking on behalf of America’s working class. Whether that be at John Deere in 2021 or the sit-down strikes in the 1930s, UAW has a proud history of exercising direct action to win justice at work.