Campus groups, workers’ unions plan rally

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A rally is planned on campus Thursday in opposition to potential tuition hikes at the University of California and in support of workers’ rights across the UC system.

AFSCME Local 3299, a union representing service and patient care workers at the university, along with the Student-Worker Coalition at Cal, which includes, among other student groups and unions, Students for a Democratic University and the student-worker union UAW Local 2865, will be holding a picket and rally at the intersection of Telegraph Avenue and Bancroft Way at noon.

After picketing for about an hour, protesters will head to the steps in front of Sproul Hall, where speakers are expected to voice support for the movement’s agenda. Among other demands, the protesters ask that the campus rehire five laid-off workers to work at other campus departments and that the university support a state Senate bill that would allow graduate student researchers to unionize, according to a statement released by Students for a Democratic University.

The university is taking cost-cutting measures that undermine the rights of workers, said Devonte Jackson, a campus junior and mobilizing director of CalSERVE.

Maricruz Manzanarez, senior custodian at Unit 2 and member of AFSCME Local 3299, said she hopes Thursday’s rally will be a chance for her and other campus workers’ voices to be heard.

“(The university) needs to value the hard work we put in,” she said. “It’s like they forgot.”

People attending the rally have been encouraged to wear black in order to show solidarity for the workers, according to a flier publicizing the event. UCPD Capt. Margo Bennett said campus police officers will monitor the event and “will react to any needs that come up.”

Contact Rachel Kang at [email protected].