Striking UCLA academic workers Stand Up in support of Gaza solidarity protests

Los Angeles, California - Unionized academic workers at the University of California, Los Angeles have become the latest to join a labor strike against the violent repression of on-campus Gaza solidarity protests.

Unionized academic workers strike at the University of California Los Angeles in response to the violent repression of on-campus Gaza solidarity protests.
Unionized academic workers strike at the University of California Los Angeles in response to the violent repression of on-campus Gaza solidarity protests.  © REUTERS

Academic researchers, graduate teaching assistants, and post-docs at UCLA on Tuesday joined their counterparts at UC Davis and UC Santa Cruz in an unfair labor practices strike sweeping the state's public university system.

Members of United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 4811 overwhelmingly voted to authorize the strike earlier this month following militarized crackdowns on university Gaza solidarity encampments.

UCLA students faced particularly brutal treatment after administrators deployed law enforcement to quell the demonstrations, resulting in a total of 210 arrests. The encampment also suffered a violent pro-Israel attack led by masked assailants who have gone largely unpunished.

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Now, academic workers across California are demanding protections for free speech rights, as well as amnesty for all those arrested during the solidarity protests. They are also calling for divestment from weapons manufacturers and other companies benefitting from the Gaza assault and a publicly accessible database of all the universities' funding sources and investments.

Organizers of the university work stoppage are employing the successful Stand Up strategy the UAW used to win huge contract concessions from Detroit's "Big Three" carmakers last year. The executive board directs each campus when to stand up and stand down as the strike progresses.

Nationally, the UAW is among the major labor unions which have endorsed a permanent ceasefire in Gaza.

Cover photo: REUTERS

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