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Green Party of California

Green Party supports Thursday strike set by low-wage workers at the University of California,asks UC to bargain in good faith

GREEN PARTY OF CALIFORNIA NEWS RELEASE
For immediate release: Thursday, April 14, 2005

Contacts:
Cres Vellucci, State Press Office, 916-996-1970,
Beth Moore Haines, GPCA Spokesperson, 530-277-0610,
Kevin McKeown, GPCA Spokesperson, 310-393-3639,
Sara Amir, GPCA Spokesperson, 310-270-7106,

OAKLAND (April 13, 2005) The Green Party of California has pledged its support and solidarity with low-wage workers at all 10 University of California campuses who have announced that a campus-wide strike will begin this Thursday morning.

AFSCME (American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees) union members voted overwhelmingly in March to authorize a system-wide strike on behalf of 7,300 workers against the UC to protest bad faith bargaining. Workers have not had a contract for nearly a year, and earn much less than workers at other state colleges.

Greens are expected to honor the picket lines and join strikers on the front lines. The GPCA platform states employees in the U.S. and around the world have the right to organize and operate a democratic, member-run union to assure their workplace rights.

"Suppressed wages and the cost of living in Berkeley force many workers to spend hours commuting on public transit. Low paid UC workers live in Oakland's district 2, in Hayward, Richmond, and even more outlying areas. I support the April 14th actions of AFSCME, and call on the UC administration to negotiate in good faith and work toward a fair and livable wage for the AFSCME workers," said Aimee Allison, candidate in the Oakland city council district 2 race of May 17

"Many of my coworkers cannot support their families while UC gave out hundreds of thousands of dollars in bonuses to chancellors this past year. But they withheld money earmarked for workers when Arnold failed to honor his promises. We haven't had a raise in three years and the students, faculty and staff of the University suffer," said Hank Chapot, Green Party member and gardener at UC Berkeley.

AFSCME Local 3299 has filed unfair labor practice charges demanding UC stop interfering with members' rights and attempting to intimidate them. Negotiations have stalled on more than 30 issues, including fair wages and an end to discrimination and favoritism in hiring and promotions. UC service employees are mostly immigrants and minorities who have not received a raise in more than two years. A recent report found that almost half of UC's service workers earned wages too low to support a four-person family even if they had a working spouse.

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The Green Party of California
http://www.cagreens.org
P.O. Box 2828, Sacramento, CA 95812
Phone: (916) 448-3437
gpca@greens.org