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IN THE NEWS:

Bruins in Paris

Labor unions express support for Palestine solidarity encampment at UCLA

The Palestine solidarity encampment is pictured in front of Royce Hall, surrounded by protesters. (Jeremy Chen/Photo editor)

By Constanza Montemayor

May 1, 2024 5:31 p.m.

For the Daily Bruin’s full coverage of the UC Divest Coalition and Students for Justice in Palestine encampment, see here.

Statewide labor unions expressed support of on-campus protesters’ pro-Palestine encampment Wednesday following an attack from counter-protesters late Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. 

United Auto Workers Local 4811 – formerly known as the two unions UAW Local 2865 and UAW Local 5810 – which represents University of California academic student employees and graduate student, academic and postdoctoral researchers, announced in a press release Wednesday afternoon that it voted to hold a strike authorization vote as soon as next week.

The California Federation of Teachers, the California affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, and the University Council-AFT, which represent educators and classified professionals, and UC librarians and non-Senate faculty, respectively, released a statement calling for UCLA Chancellor Gene Block’s resignation.

An affirmative vote would give the UAW Local 4811 Executive Board the authority to call a strike, which the union indicated would occur if the University were to perpetuate threats to members’ safety. 

The UAW 4811 announcement called for the UC to negotiate with protesters’ demands, including discussing divestment from companies tied to the Israeli military effort. The release also mentioned recent violence against the Palestine solidarity encampment and said counter-protesters had attacked protesters, including members of the union, with fireworks and bear spray.

“Should the university decide 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, UAW 4811 members will take any and all actions necessary to enforce our rights,” the UAW 4811 Executive Board said in its statement.

CFT and UC-AFT said they condemned the recent violence against protesters as well as inaction from LAPD, UCPD and private security hired by UCLA in response to the attack. 

The release also called for an investigation by UCLA and the UC Office of the President to hold those responsible for the violence accountable and for the UCLA to improve its dialogue with students, staff and faculty.

“We call for the immediate resignation of Chancellor Gene Block for his failure of leadership. Chancellor Block has refused to meet with protestors to discuss their interests; instead he has created an environment that has escalated tensions and failed to take meaningful action to prevent the violence that occurred last night,” CFT and UC-AFT said in the statement.

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Constanza Montemayor | News senior staff
Montemayor is a News senior staff reporter for the Bruin. She was previously the 2022-2023 News editor, the 2021-2022 features and student life editor, a News reporter, Photo contributor for the news beat and Arts contributor. She is also a fourth-year global studies student at UCLA.
Montemayor is a News senior staff reporter for the Bruin. She was previously the 2022-2023 News editor, the 2021-2022 features and student life editor, a News reporter, Photo contributor for the news beat and Arts contributor. She is also a fourth-year global studies student at UCLA.
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