The Vanguard has a new home, please update your bookmarks to

Monday, July 14, 2008

UC Strike Moves On Today Despite Injunction

At the request of the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB), a San Francisco Superior Court judge on Friday issued a temporary restraining order which prohibits AFSCME from holding a five-day strike at UC facilities today.

Or maybe it doesn't... At least not according to AFSCME officials who dispute the interpretation of the ruling.

According to Saturday's San Francisco Chronicle:
"Judge Patrick Mahoney said in his ruling that the strike likely would cause irreparable injury to the university and the union was enjoined from "calling, engaging in, continuing, sanctioning, inducing, aiding, enticing, encouraging, abetting or assisting" employees from a strike or slowdown without adequate notice."
Furthermore, the ruling prevents the union from:
"engaging in any strike, walkout, slowdown or strike-related work stoppage of any nature against the University of California without adequate notice of the exact dates of the strike."
William Schlitz, spokesperson for AFSCME said:
"We are going on strike as planned. First and foremost, it is the workers' constitutional right to strike."
Mr. Schlitz told another news service:
"We're confident this strike is legal... The reason we're striking is because the university denies its moral responsibility to pay its workers."
The union does not believe that its action would be in violation of the restraining order since the order enjoins the workers from striking without adequate notice or without giving exact strike dates. The union says it provided this notice on July 10 when it called for the July 14 strike.

Lakesha Harrison, who is the president of AFSCME interprets the ruling to mean that the union has to notify the university of the strike dates, something that it has already done.

She told the Davis Enterprise in Sunday's paper:
"We're in compliance... It's our constitutional right to strike, and UC can't take that away from us."
On the other hand, the UC human relations communications coordinator, Nicole Savickas is under the impression that the ruling prohibits the union from striking until a week from Tuesday on July 22. The UC news release says that the university expects its employees to obey the order and report to work as scheduled.

However, the union is moving ahead with plans to strike starting at 7 am this morning, which ought to make for a pretty interesting day.

The Vanguard will be in the field and report on the latest happenings throughout the day. Log on for breaking news and other exclusive coverage.

---Doug Paul Davis reporting