Led by Rep. Katie Porter, 18 Members of Congress Ask UC President Michael Drake to Bargain in Good Faith as Strike Enters its Second Week

Rep. Porter delivered the letter to Drake this morning as classrooms and labs remained shuttered across all ten UC campuses and the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. 

18 members of California’s congressional delegation, led by Representative Katie Porter (D-Irvine), have called on UC President Michael Drake to begin bargaining in good faith with the UAW immediately, so that resolution may be reached as the largest strike in the country heads into week two at UC. Tens of thousands of Academic Workers across the UC system are on strike in protest of the University’s unlawful labor practices. 

“As one of California’s largest employers, the University of California has the opportunity to lead in setting industry standards for academia and other public employers,” the letter reads. “We urge the University of California to come to the table with the UAW’s four bargaining units, in good faith, to improve the working conditions of all Academic Workers and implement benefits and compensation commensurate with the value they provide the University. By failing to do so, the University of California is risking continued mass disruption and loss of talent that has earned the University of California its prestigious free reputation.” Read a full copy of the letter here. 

“We are so grateful for the support of Representative Porter and our elected leaders, who are asking UC to do the right thing,” said Rafael Jaime, President of UAW 2865, which represents 19,000 of the striking workers. “It is unconscionable that the people who do the majority of teaching and research at UC are expected to survive on poverty wages. We’re hopeful that UC will listen to Congress, to the community, and to the tens of thousands of workers who are asking to be treated fairly. And we will be on the picket lines until they do.”

Today at noon, workers will be joined by faculty at solidarity rallies across the state. Press is welcome to attend. Learn more at FairUCNow.org.