University of California Charged with Illegal Interference and Intimidation

(OAKLAND, CA) – University of California Service and Patient Care workers represented by AFSCME Local 3299 announced today that they will strike on April 10th, in response to the University’s intimidation tactics, violence, and other interference with workers’ rights.

Earlier this week, Service and Patient Care workers filed an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge at the Public Employment Relations Board addressing UC’s unlawful interference, which includes conduct ranging from workplace retaliation and threats of police citation to effectively condoning the violent physical assault of striking workers on the picket line. Among the incidents cited in the charge is an October 2018 encounter in which a UC Davis manager physically assaulted striking workers and allied students as they protested the outsourcing of jobs at UC.

“Through its actions, the University of California has created a hostile work environment that undermines workers’ ability to exercise their rights and voice concerns in the workplace,” said AFSCME Local 3299 President Kathryn Lybarger. “We will not allow UC to silence the voices of its most vulnerable workers—who’re overwhelmingly people of color—and we will take all necessary actions to hold UC accountable for any illegal behavior.”

While the ULP charge focuses on more recent examples, it also notes that the pattern of illegal conduct dates as far back as February 2018, when University police singled-out and assaulted an African American employee named David Cole at UC Berkeley during a peaceful protest.

“The University of California has already financed lavish executive salaries and multi-million-dollar secret slush funds off the backs of its lowest-paid workers by imposing terms that outsource jobs and make income inequality worse,” added Lybarger. “Now, UC is resorting to intimidation tactics to silence the thousands of workers across California that have taken a stand against this behavior. We cannot and will not allow UC to violate the rights of these workers by trampling state law.”

The announcement comes just 9 days after U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders joined striking UC workers and blasted University administrators.

The Service and Patient Care ULP strike will take place across the UC system on April 10th. Details such as times and locations will be released at a later date.