PERB issues complaint against UAW

The state Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) has issued a complaint against UAW today for its unlawful strike activity.  

The issuance of the complaint means that PERB investigated the charge and found enough evidence to suggest that a violation may have occurred, and further examination is warranted. PERB also ordered UC and UAW to mediation in an effort to resolve the University’s Unfair Labor Practice, which will be held later today. 

Filing ULPs is a customary practice when attempting to resolve labor disputes. Once filed, a PERB agent will investigate the charge to determine if a “prima facie” case exists, meaning there’s enough evidence to suggest a violation may have occurred. If a prima facie case is found, a formal complaint is issued, as was the case with yesterday’s complaint against UAW.  

“The University is pleased by this expedited action from PERB,” said Missy Matella, Associate Vice President for Systemwide Labor Relations. “We have maintained from the beginning that UAW’s actions violate our mutually agreed contracts. We are eager to see a quick and just resolution to this matter so that our students, faculty and staff can end this academic quarter without further disrupting their education and progress towards degree completion.” 

PERB noted that UAW and UC have no-strike clauses in their contracts, which state: “During the term of this agreement or any written extension thereof, the University agrees that there shall be no lockouts by the University. The UAW, on behalf of its officers, agents, and members agrees that there shall be no strikes, including sympathy strikes, stoppages or interruptions of work, or other concerted activities which interfere directly or indirectly with University operations during the life of this agreement or any written extension thereof. The UAW, on behalf of its officers, agents, and members, agrees that it shall not in any way authorize, assist, encourage, participate in, sanction, ratify, condone, or lend support to any activities in violation of this article.” 

PERB’s complaint states that UAW “failed to provide adequate advance notice of its work stoppage, and failed and refused to meet and confer in good faith in violation of Government Code section 3571.1(c).” 

UC filed a request for injunctive relief with its unfair labor practice charge after UAW voted to strike to protest the Palestine-Israel conflict. UC sought immediate action before PERB reaches a final decision on the University’s ULP. Because injunctive relief is issued before PERB’s process is complete, it is an extremely high standard that requires a showing of irreparable harm. PERB declined to seek an injunction at this time but left UC’s request open if it learns of evidence or facts to support relief in the future.  

After mediation, the case will be heard before an administrative law judge (ALJ), where both sides present evidence and arguments.