Photo credit: Tim Hyon
Photo credit: Tim Hyon

By Shradha Ganapathy and Patricia Serpa

At its Tuesday meeting, Berkeley City Council adopted a resolution to support UC Berkeley’s subcontracted workers and endorse AFSCME Local 3299’s speakers’ boycott on campus.

The boycott intends to highlight the issue of subcontracted employees on campus, said AFSCME Local 3299 spokesperson Todd Stenhouse, who added that those workers are often paid less than workers employed directly by the university and face alleged labor abuses such as wage theft. The council’s resolution would send a message that the public recognizes the concerns of subcontracted workers, he said.

“It’s a sad situation, you know, where employees have worked for many, many years but they don’t have the proper treatment by the companies,” said Councilmember Kriss Worthington.

Councilmember Jesse Arreguin and Worthington both voiced support for the adoption of the resolution, with Worthington describing the allegations of wage theft as “sad and disgusting.”

Both Worthington and Arreguin said they supported the speakers’ boycott by refusing to speak on campus. Arreguin noted he had chosen not to speak at events to honor the boycott, even in light of the upcoming mayoral elections and his campaign.

“By honoring the boycott, (we are) living up to making sure that people living in our community are paid a living wage,” Arreguin said. “(The resolution) draws attention to the issue and sends a message to the university that this is something the city cares about.”

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[Source]: Daily Californian