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UCLA Workers Launch Five-Day Strike Amid Contract Negotiations

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By Yazmin Nunez

On Friday morning, more than 600 union workers began a five-day strike at UCLA over what the union has deemed as unfair labor practices at the university and its medical center. Members of the Teamsters Local 2010, which represents skilled trades workers, began the strike with a walkout at 12 a.m. on Friday. The strike, which is affecting both the UCLA campus and UCLA Health facilities in Westwood and Santa Monica, is expected to last until 11:59 a.m. on Tuesday.

Christian Castro, communications coordinator for the Teamsters Local 2010, told LAist that the hundreds of skilled workers were protesting over a number of alleged labor violations. “UCLA has committed everything from threatening our workers for participating in union activity to delaying negotiations, and refusing to bargain [for] retroactive pay,” Castro said. The members of the union have not had a pay increase, or a contract in four years, according to Castro.

In a press release, the university contended that the the strike was "an unlawful, pre-impasse economic strike." The university also said that they had developed plans that will allow the campus and the medical facilities to remain open during the strike. According to a statement from the Teamsters union, Saturday’s UCLA versus Stanford men’s basketball game could be affected by the strike.

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Castro said that the union members, who are electricians, plumbers, carpenters and maintenance workers,in addition to invested community members and parents of students who attend UCLA, hope for the “university to come back with real proposals, to treat us fairly, and show respect for our members.”
NBC 4 reports UCLA has denied the current ongoing allegations and is said to have been negotiation with Teamsters for a new contract since August 30. The latest offer according to NBC 4 is said to include an immediate 12.5 percent raise, in addition to annual raises through 2020.

LAist intern Yazmin Nunez is a former reporter for the Boyle Heights Beat and an undergraduate student at California State University Long Beach.