UC statement on UAW vote to conduct unlawful strike

“This strike is illegal,” said Melissa Matella, associate vice president of Systemwide Labor Relations. “UAW’s decision to strike over nonlabor issues violates the no-strike clause of their contracts with UC and sets a dangerous and far-reaching precedent that social, political and cultural issues — no matter how valid — that are not labor-related can support a labor strike.” 

UAW and UC have mutually agreed-upon contracts in place which state: 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.  

UAW 4811 has stated that they believe their members’ freedom of speech and expression was violated after demonstrations at UCLA and UC San Diego. To be clear, the University supports free speech and lawful protests. Across the UC system, campuses have allowed — and continue to allow — lawful protests surrounding the conflict in the Middle East. But when protests violate University policy or threaten the safety and security of others, the University has taken lawful action to end impermissible and unlawful behavior.   

More importantly, campus administrators who met with protestors understood they were meeting with students to discuss peaceful resolutions to student concerns. The University had no indication that the protests were connected to any labor dispute or the terms of employment for students, some of whom are also UAW members in their capacity as University employees. The list of demands from student protestors, and even from UAW 4811, are political demands that are outside the terms of the collective bargaining agreement.  

You can find more information about UAW's contract and other updates here.