A normal Monday morning began with the sound of horns and shouts, as UCLA workers began a three-day strike after contract agreement negotiations between workers and the University of California broke down.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3299, the union that represents workers across UC campuses, announced the three-day strike April 26. The university said students would experience disruptions in dining, custodial and maintenance services as a result.
Students on the Hill were woken up Monday by clamor and hubbub, as union workers filled the Hill with the sound of obnoxious horns and bells, instead of targeting university officials or on-campus activities. While any group has the right to exercise their freedom of expression and speech, the actions taken Monday morning go beyond freedom of expression and into the grounds of being a public disturbance.
Workers’ actions Monday do not directly put pressure on UC administrators. Instead, they use students as pawns in negotiating. Walking to class Monday morning, students saw hundreds of union members peacefully demonstrating in and around Bruin Plaza, a more convincing argument than a free 6 o’clock alarm.
Workers at UCLA, as anywhere, deserve the right to bargain for better benefits. But such a right does not extend to a public disturbance.
Schneider is a first-year political science and economics student and a member of Young Americans for Freedom at UCLA.