Judge Orders Pro-Palestinian University Strikers Back To Work

Judge Orders Pro-Palestinian University Strikers Back To Work
Image: U.C. Berkeley

By Jason Cohen

A state judge ordered on Friday thousands of striking academic employees at the University of California (UC) to pause their weeks-long effort protesting the Israel-Hamas war.

The strike commenced on May 20 at UC Santa Cruz and expanded to include six UC campuses, according to the university system’s website. Orange County Superior Court Judge Randall J. Sherman granted the restraining order request by UC lawyers who claimed the strike would inflict irreparable damage to students with finals approaching. (RELATED: Teacher’s Union That Encouraged Teacher Strikes Now Faces Its Own Employee Rebellion)

“We are extremely grateful for a pause in this strike so our students can complete their academic studies,” associate vice president for Systemwide Labor Relations Melissa Matella said. “The strike would have caused irreversible setbacks to students’ academic achievements and may have stalled critical research projects in the final quarter.”

The strike was carried out by the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW), which represents over 40,000 employees throughout the UC system, according to its website. The union wants  better treatment of its members who it says have been arrested and attacked while protesting “in solidarity with the people of Palestine.”

UC sued UAW and other union defendants on Tuesday, asking for the restraining order and alleging the union breached their contract.

“UAW’s rank and file members have … emphasized that their core objective for voting to strike is UAW’s political and social position,” the filing states. “For example, one member noted on X (Twitter) the international focus of the strike and made clear that the vote was about divestment and Palestine. Another pushed their department to vote for the strike stating ‘[T]he top demand that matters here is disinvestment. This is about Palestine first and our ability to work comfortably at UC second.’”

Universities have been facing pro-Palestinian protests for weeks, including students erecting encampments and taking over buildings in a bid to push schools to divest from Israel.

UAW did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.


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