AFSCME Local 3299 to stage 3-day strike, citing job outsourcing

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Updated 10/22/2018: This article has been updated to reflect additional information from campus spokesperson Janet Gilmore.

The UC’s largest employee union — the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3299, or AFSCME Local 3299 — is set to go on strike from Oct. 23 through Oct. 25, during which UC patient care technical workers will stage walkouts at all UC medical centers.

Although the Patient Care Technical Unit called the primary strike, an email from UC Berkeley Housing sent Friday indicated that UC custodial, maintenance and food service employees represented by AFSCME Local 3299 may participate in the strike in solidarity.

The announcement of the three-day strike comes after the union voted to strike with 96 percent support earlier this month. In a press release, the union cited the outsourcing of UC jobs as a primary motivation for the strike.

“Over the past year of negotiations, the University has consistently skirted the top concern of striking workers—the increased outsourcing of UC jobs to private contracting companies that hire outside workers to perform the same tasks for lower wages, little to no benefits, and a higher risk of labor abuse,” the press release stated.

Campus spokesperson Janet Gilmore said in an email that classes will be taught and the university’s business operations will proceed with normal or equivalent services.

She added that there may be some “inconveniences,” such as limited food options in residential dining facilities, no stacked parking and potential delayed deliveries from outside companies. The campus daytime shuttle bus service may be impacted by the strike, but the AC transit buses also cover the area, and the campus will provide nighttime safety shuttles throughout the strike, according to Gilmore.

“The campus community may encounter some picket lines at some entrances to campus and other areas, some rallying, etc.,” Gilmore said in an email. “We continue to be hopeful that the University and the unions will soon reach agreement.”

Residential housing and dining facilities will remain open during the strike, with modified hours of operation and services, according to UC Berkeley Housing. Late-night dining services will be closed beginning the evening of Oct. 23 and will reopen Oct. 26. Deliveries by the United Parcel Service will also likely be disrupted for the duration of the strike.

UC Berkeley Housing added in the email that it intends to “minimize any impact” of the strike on its residents.

Danielle Kaye is an assistant news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @danielledkaye.