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University of California pro-Palestine union says strike not over, despite ruling

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(The Center Square) – A California judge ordered an injunction against the graduate student and researcher strike at six University of California campuses in response to administration actions against pro-Palestine protests. In response, the union suggested the strike is far from over.

Last week, the UC system filed a lawsuit against the 48,000 member United Auto Workers-affiliated union, saying the UAW is only authorized to strike for issues relating to employment and labor, not political and social issues. The union alleges campus responses to protests, including charges against some protestors, constitute unfair labor practices, and demanded police charges and disciplinary actions against union members for participation in pro-Palestine protests be dropped.

After UC’s attempt to get the California’s Public Employment Relations Board to block the strike, which included the UC Santa Cruz, UCLA, UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara, UC San Diego, and UC Irvine campuses, UC filed its lawsuit.

The order requires the strike to pause “until the hearing upon an Order to Show Cause.”

“We respect the advocacy and progressive action towards issues that matter to our community and our community’s right to engage in lawful free speech activities — activities that continue to occur across the system,” said UC Associate Vice President for Systemwide Labor Relations Melissa Matella in a statement on the court order. “However, UAW’s strike is unrelated to employment terms, violates the parties’ agreements, and runs contrary to established labor principles.”

In a statement, UAW 4811 president Rafael Jaime retorted, “I want to make clear that this struggle is far from over. In the courtroom, the law is on our side, and we’re prepared to keep defending our rights — and outside, 48,000 workers are ready for a long fight.”

On X, UAW reposted UCLA law professor Noah Zatz, who said, “​​CA’s Little Norris-LaGuardia Act bars [temporary restraining orders] when the employer has “failed to make every reasonable effort to settle that dispute,” which UC hasn’t done, and it requires a court issuing a TRO to make & file various specific findings of fact, which this judge seems not to have done.”

While the court order does not state a specific end date to its temporary injunction, the union says the injunction is in place until June 27. The final day of spring quarter for UC campuses other than UC Berkeley is June 14. Summer classes begin on June 24.

Late on June 10, NBC reported demonstrators had erected a new pro-Palestine campsite at UCLA, where police dismantled an earlier campsite in May after nights of violence between protestors and counter-protestors.