La Voz: Statement on the UAW 2865 Contract Settlement

“We see this concessionary contract as a major setback both materially and organizationally, as well as a setback from the democratic reforms made by the AWDU caucus since 2011. Additionally, we see the misuse of staff to push for the settlement campaign as an abuse of the current leadership’s power that must be deeply investigated by the membership.

In the era of Janus, our unions should not be giving in to conservative tendencies that abandon our most basic needs when management snaps its fingers, that weaken our union’s power through demobilization and defeatism. We need unions that fight, we need democratic leadership that does not lie and utilize personal attacks against their enemies. Most of all, we need strong rank-and-file activists that will forward our demands as workers through our union, in spite of the leadership which has left us in a worse position to organize than before. We believe that we should continue to build a militant, democratic base for reforming our union in the Organizing Committees and other OC-like bodies that  spring up, and that we should focus on the spaces which were marginalized during the recent contract campaign: the People of Color Caucuses, the campaign for affordable housing, and campaigns to build solidarity with the other striking unions on campus, namely AFSCME 3299, who will strike again during the Fall.

The current contract does nothing to address access to affordable housing for UC workers, demilitarization of campus police and the expulsion of ICE from our campuses, nor does it address divestment of UC funds from prisons and fossil fuel companies, nor privatization of campus resources, issues that are only worsening in the broader national climate. The way forward is to keep building our strength through these campaigns with a clear political program that centers rank-and-file militancy, fights for the leadership of the union, and utilizes true democratic power, not shady and illicit manipulations, to win gains for ourselves.”

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