By Josh Lefler

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3299 filed its second complaint against the University of California to the state’s Public Employment Relations Board on Feb. 12. In the charge, AFSCME Local 3299, the UC system’s largest labor union, cited the “abject” wage conditions experienced by the UC system’s subcontracted workers.

The union alleged that the UC system “violated its collective bargaining agreement … by entering at least five distinct contracts at multiple campuses with private firms that pay their workers rock bottom wages for full-time permanent staffing needs,” according to a Feb. 19 press release.

The UC system relies upon subcontracted workers to maintain normal operations across all campuses. These workers, hired and paid through private companies, work in custodial services, food services, security, construction, landscaping and other areas.

According to a report generated by AFSCME Local 3299, the University of California enlists at least 45 different private contractors across all UC campuses. The same report also states that subcontracted workers are paid as much as 53 percent less than UC workers and do not receive benefits.

President of AFSCME Local 3299 Kathryn Lybarger argued that, though these workers are hired and paid by private companies, the university is partially responsible for the wage theft that occurs.

“[The University of California] is helping some of our state’s most notorious employers profit by condemning hundreds — if not thousands — of full-time UC workers and their families to a life of poverty and exploitation,” Lybarger stated in the press release.

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[Source]: UCSD Guardian