From today’s New York Times:
Hundreds of academic workers chanting “Shut it down” and “We’ve got the power” marched through U.C. San Diego’s seaside campus on Monday as one of the nation’s largest strikes in years entered its second week.
The walkout, which began on Nov. 14, involves bargaining units representing nearly 48,000 teaching assistants, researchers and other employees across the University of California’s 10 campuses who are asking for wage increases and better benefits. No end date for the strike has been set, though officials from the United Automobile Workers, which represents the academic workers, and the university say they have come closer to reaching agreements over the past several days.
The labor action, which comes amid a wave of union activity across the country, could become a turning point nationwide for graduate student workers, whom America’s universities have long relied on, for relatively low pay.
In California in particular, the exceptionally high cost of living has brought these widespread issues to a head. As my colleague Shawn Hubler reported, the U.C. campuses are in some of the nation’s most expensive housing markets, not just in the Bay Area and Los Angeles, but coastal enclaves such as Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz and Irvine.
At U.C. San Diego, in the pricey La Jolla neighborhood, strikers on Monday afternoon wove en masse among the campus’s eucalyptus trees. One protester carried his toddler on his shoulders. Some of the signs demonstrators hoisted into the air read: “The rent is too damn high.” “Education begins when exploitation ends.” “You can’t eat prestige.”
Read the complete story here.