U. California Workers' Strike Continues

This story was written by Amy Mao, Daily Californian

Democratic California State Assemblymember Ira Ruskin headed towards the picket lines on day four of the UC service workers' strike. But even with the support of a politician like Ruskin, a settlement between the workers' union and the University of California has not yet materialized.

The strike has remained contentious due to legal complications involving a court injunction issued last Friday that deemed the strike illegal.

University officials declared the main issue at hand is the illegal actions of the union and their refusal to return to the bargaining table. However, despite the injunction, union officials still claim the strike is legal.

Lakesha Harrison, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3299, said it is the union's constitutional right to strike and the union is actually in compliance with the law, since they notified the university about their intention to strike before the strike began.

University officials said the union's decision to continue the strike is a disappointment.

"We hope they will spend their energy back at the negotiating table," said UC spokesperson, Nicole Savickas.

Some UC students side with the protestors, saying the workers's claims of injustice are valid.

"It seems like a just cause. I've heard that they're earning a lot less than at other (universities)," said Senior Kate Cantrell. "It doesn't seem fair, especially given how much money the (UC) Regents earn."

Others said the low wages of the workers are justified because of the economic hardships the university is currently facing.

"The UC system is in (a) deficit. Everyone needs to give and take," said 3rd year Kate Fryman. "It's a challenge we all have to face with the economy."

Though the strike set to end on Friday, the conflict remains unresolved.