Union Takes Strike Authorization Vote after Members Attacked at UCLA Gaza Encampment

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By Lily Rusk and Emeline Crowder 

LOS ANGELES, CA – A union whose members were among those attacked by counter protestors last week at UCLA’s Palestine Solidarity encampment, said it’s time to take a “Strike Authorization Vote.”

According to an announcement by UAW 4811, “an armed group of counter-protesters attacked the Palestine Solidarity encampment at UCLA, hitting protesters including members of UAW 4811 with sticks, spraying them with bear spray, and pelting them with bottles and fireworks.”

The announcement noted similar confrontations occurred at Columbia and City College of New York, where management’s response included the deployment of riot police to disperse student demonstrators.

In response, the union said, its sister union, UAW 872 at USC, took legal action by filing Unfair Labor Practice charges against management following LAPD’s arrests of more than 90 protesters on their campus.

“UC management must change course. At several other universities across the country, management has taken protesters’ demands seriously and begun negotiations with coalitions of students, workers, and community members over their divestment from companies supplying arms to Israel’s war in Gaza,” stated the union.

UAW added, “This option is open to UC as well. The use and sanction of violent force to curtail peaceful protest is an attack on free speech and the right to demand change, and the university must sit down with students, unions, and campus organizations to negotiate, rather than escalate.”

UAW 4811 said its leadership met in an “emergency executive board meeting,” and authorized a strike authorization vote this next week to permit the executive board to call a strike “if circumstances justify.”

The union said those circumstances include if “the university decides to curtail the right to participate in protected, concerted activity; discriminate against union members or political viewpoints; and create or allow threats to members’ health and safety, among others.”

If that happens, UAW 4811 warned, “members will take any and all actions necessary to enforce our rights.”

About The Author

Lily Rusk is a first-year student at the University of California, Davis majoring in Philosophy with a Pre-Law focus. She hopes to go to law school and pursue a career in Criminal Defense. In her free time, Lily loves to read and listen to music.

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