Women Built 3299

Here’s one thing you may not know about 3299: Our local grew because a group of Black women had enough of pay inequality at UC Berkeley.

In the 70’s women were given the job title of Housemaids and men were titled Custodians. Despite the difference in job title the job duties were exactly the same. The group of women began to talk and organize themselves and their coworkers. They contacted AFSCME headquarters and voted to join UC’s first union, AFSCME Local 371.

Of course, this wouldn’t be a 3299 story without a fight and a strike. Workers went on strike and won the change of job title from Housemaids to Custodians, the very first ever benefits package, and a no discrimination clause.

It didn’t take long for the news to travel up and down the state, inspiring others across the state to also form a union and demand respect and equality from the university. It wouldn’t be until 1998 when all the UC Local’s would join forces and become UC largest union, AFSCME Local 3299.

So as we welcome in Women’s History month, let us honor and remember the women of our union. It is because of them that we now have UC’s largest fighting union—3299!