Subcontracted campus workers insourced as UC employees, ending speakers’ boycott

Audrey McNamara/Staff

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After nearly seven months of campaigning, 69 previously subcontracted workers have officially been insourced as UC employees, ending an ongoing campus speakers’ boycott.

The workers — employed by ABM, PerformanceFirst and LAZ Parking — were previously a part of the University of California’s two-tier employment policy.

The campus employs some individuals directly, or in-house, while others who do temporary or seasonal work are employed as subcontracted workers, receiving reduced pay and fewer benefits than their directly employed counterparts.

UC labor union AFSCME Local 3299, along with the campus’ Student Labor Committee, has upheld a campus speakers’ boycott in support of subcontracted workers, most notably protesting campus speakers such as Alphabet Inc. executive chair Eric Schmidt and CEO and founder Marc Benioff.

Action in support of the speakers’ boycott has stemmed from both campus and city entities in the past month.

During a Graduate Assembly meeting Thursday evening, delegates voted to encourage the university to “promptly negotiate a resolution to the (boycott),” according to an email from Graduate Assembly President Jenna Kingkade to delegates.

During its Tuesday meeting, Berkeley City Council adopted a resolution in support of hiring subcontracted workers as UC employees, and of AFSCME Local 3299 and its boycott.

“It’s a sad situation, you know, where employees have worked for many, many years but they don’t have the proper treatment by the companies,” said Councilmember Kriss Worthington at a previous meeting.

Check back here for updates.

Adrienne Shih is the city news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @adrienneshih.