January 13, 2017
By Doug Cunningham
Workers Independent News
To hear the audio click the following link
Los Angeles, CA – The University of California system is one of the ten richest universities in the country.
But Teamsters Local 2010 President Jason Rabinowitz says university workers are suffering from low wages and years without raises.
[Jason Rabinowitz]: “The workers are about eighty percent women, two-thirds people of color. And the university has driven down their real wages over the past two decades by about 24 percent. To the point where over seventy percent of the workers, according to a recent study, are suffering from either hunger or food insecurity.”
Thousands of UC workers represented by the Teamsters went on a recent unfair labor practices strike, charging the university with violating state labor laws by not bargaining in good faith to get labor contracts and raises done.
[Jason Rabinowitz]: “We have numerous charges with the state of California with the Public Employment Relations Board. They’ve issued complaints against the university in several unfair practices cases.
So we do hope that that helps to convince the university that they need to be fair, you know when the state is taking action against ya.
And we’re bringing our message to the legislature. Many of the top legislators in the state have been asking the university to get back to the table.”
Rabinowitz says as striking UC workers returned to work Wednesday, some managers tried to intimidate them for their strike action.
[Jason Rabinowitz]: “We have some reports about some managers that have tried to threaten or scare our members and we’re gonna find out more detail about that.
The university did try to scare our members before the strike. Tried to tell them the strike was illegal, even though if it was illegal they would have been in court trying to get an injunction, which they didn’t. They did try to get an injunction against the skilled trades strike (at UCLA) and the state tossed that right out because it had no merit.
Our strike was lawful and protected.”