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17 charged with trespassing as UC workers strike escalates to California capital

Hundreds of University of California academic workers marched in Sacramento, demanding better wages and working conditions.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Hundreds of University of California academic workers marched in Sacramento Monday, as a union strike involving 48,000 employees entered the fourth week.

Monday's action escalated the strike, as 17 academic workers were arrested and cited with trespassing for staging a sit-in in the lobby of the UC Office of the President in downtown Sacramento.

"This is civil disobedience, 100%," said Elias Bunting, a first-year PhD student at UC Davis. 

"It’s really shameful that we as grad students have to take such drastic action because our university is not supporting us in the way that we need to be supported," said Bunting. 

Bunting said he was hurt in a scuffle with a security guard as he and the others barged into the building. 

The academic workers say with their current salaries they can't afford to live in cities such as Los Angeles, San Diego and Berkeley, where housing costs are soaring.

Organizers from the United Auto Workers, which represents the employees involved, have said there is no end date for the strike.

Last week, postdoctoral scholars and academic researchers reached a tentative labor agreement with the university but will remain on strike in solidarity with thousands of graduate student workers at all 10 of the university system's campuses.

The postdoctoral employees and academic researchers make up about 12,000 of the 48,000 union members who walked off the job and onto picket lines three weeks ago. 

About 36,000 graduate student teaching assistants, tutors and researchers are bargaining separately and remain on strike, calling for increased pay and benefits.


University of California workers strike drags into 3rd week

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