California universities’ academic workers start strike

Tens of thousands of academic workers across the University of California system walked out on Monday 14 November in one of the nation’s largest strikes in recent years, as teaching assistants, researchers and other university employees called for significant pay increases in the face of rising housing costs, writes Shawn Hubler for The New York Times.

The walkout, the latest in a wave of union activity in a booming labour market, covers nearly 48,000 unionised campus employees at the prestigious public university system. Classes were disrupted, research slowed and office hours cancelled as thousands of workers picketed at campuses from San Diego to Berkeley. Some faculty cancelled lectures in sympathy with the strikers or shifted instruction to Zoom to avoid crossing picket lines in the largely pro-labour state.

The university system has said its 10 campuses, where nearly 300,000 students are enrolled, would remain open and that instruction and operations would continue. But the students and employees involved, who are represented by the United Automobile Workers, make up a core work force in classrooms and labs throughout the university system, where most campuses are only a few weeks away from final examinations. The unions involved have not set an end date.
Full report on The New York Times site