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Indybay Feature

UC Workers Strike in Protest of Unfair Labor Practices

by Berkeley and Beyond
November 16 marked the third day of protests by academic workers across the University of California system in the largest walkout in the history of US higher education. Their union, UAW2865, represents 48,000 graduate student instructors, postdoctoral scholars and academic researchers. Many faculty members are striking in solidarity.
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Photos of Berkeley campus protests, credit: @ianshootsphotos on IG

Members of the UC Berkeley community continue to strike in protest of unfair labor practices gathering in Sproul Plaza, famous since the beginning of the Free Speech Movement, and marching around campus. The UC system relies heavily on graduate student instructors to teach over 200,000 undergraduates. Postdoctoral students and academic researchers are also represented in the strike by UAW, United Auto Workers.

Demonstrators have been forming picket lines across the university system that includes 10 campuses and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The University of California Student Association is encouraging undergraduate students to support the strike and some professors have canceled courses in solidarity.

Workers want higher wages, improved parental leave, and child care support. Many protest signs mentioned housing costs and a large "Reduce Rent Burden" banner on the Berkeley campus brought on cheers from demonstrators. It is not unusual for housing to take 35% or even more of a worker's pay.

Strikers say they are fighting for a UC where first-generation scholars do not have to go into extreme debt so that highly-paid administrators can live in publicly-funded mansions. They want a working environment in which workers are free from harassment and discrimination, and access to sustainable and affordable transportation options.

University of California president Michael Drake stated, from a gathering on the UCSF Mission Bay campus, that the university’s offers are “generous and fair” and exceed the support available at other top public research universities.
§Making noise on Berkeley Campus
by Berkeley and Beyond
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§Raise a Fist
by Berkeley and Beyond
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§Strike a Pose
by Berkeley and Beyond
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§Excitement
by Berkeley and Beyond
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§Which Side are You On?
by Berkeley and Beyond
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§Sunny Side
by Berkeley and Beyond
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§Youth and Age Together in Action
by Berkeley and Beyond
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§Oakland Educators in Solidarity
by Berkeley and Beyond
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§No Union Busting
by Berkeley and Beyond
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§End Rent Burden
by Berkeley and Beyond
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§UC Works Because We Do
by Berkeley and Beyond
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§On Strike!
by Berkeley and Beyond
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§Solidarity Forever
by Berkeley and Beyond
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§Keeping Up Spirits
by Berkeley and Beyond
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§Faculty in Solidarity
by Berkeley and Beyond
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§Iconic Tower
by Berkeley and Beyond
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