University of California Los Angeles electricians, elevator mechanics, plumbers, facilities workers and other skilled trades workers went on strike early this morning to protest the university’s violations of state labor law.
Teamsters Local 2010 represents the 600 skilled trades workers and more than 3,000 clerical workers at UCLA. The striking skilled trades workers provide critical services to the school, including the maintenance and operation of patient care facilities at the UCLA Center for Health Sciences and UCLA Santa Monica Hospital, computer systems, research facilities and the care of valuable collections.
UCLA skilled trades workers are paid as much as $10 an hour below prevailing wage in the area, and have gone more than four years without raises. UCLA has unlawfully refused to bargain for the raises, despite having funds in the budget for the increases. UCLA now plans to pocket the budgeted funds rather than bargaining in good faith for the workers’ raises.
“I have not had a raise in four years,” said Sam Huffman, a facilities mechanic. “But I have to pay almost $1,000 per year for parking and my costs for health care have gone up.”
“The University is charging our customers more for our services and refuses to negotiate over the back pay which we worked for and earned,” added Clayton Benson, a service engineer.
Members voted overwhelming on Nov. 3 to strike over UCLA’s unfair labor practices. Notice was provided to the UCLA Medical Centers and the UCLA Chancellor, providing the university with more than the legally required 10-day notice to transfer patients and ensure that the public, students, staff and faculty were protected from harm.
UC San Diego skilled trades workers, who are also represented by Local 2010, are preparing to strike the UCSD campus and hospitals tomorrow over UC’s labor law violations.
The contract for the 14,000 UC administrative support workers statewide, also represented by Teamsters Local 2010, is due to expire Nov. 30. These workers’ real income has declined by 24 percent over the past two decades, and they are now paid so little that 70 percent suffer from food insecurity or hunger according to a recent study. The union is preparing to take statewide strike action, if necessary, after expiration of the contract.