State Judge Orders University of California Academic Workers to Temporarily Halt Strike

State Judge Orders University of California Academic Workers to Temporarily Halt Strike

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A state judge has mandated that thousands of academic workers at the University of California (UC) temporarily cease their strike over the handling of student-led pro-Palestine protests, citing “damage to students’ education.”

United Auto Workers Local 4811, representing 48,000 graduate students employed as teaching assistants, researchers, tutors, and other academic roles, initiated the strike on May 20 in Santa Cruz.

The union said the free speech rights of its members were violated during police and university crackdowns on pro-Palestine protests at several UC campuses last month.

However, Orange County Superior Court Judge Randall J. Sherman issued an emergency restraining order against the academic workers after UC attorneys argued that the prolonged strike was causing “irreparable harm” to students ahead of their final exams.

The strike, which began in Santa Cruz, has since spread to UC campuses in Davis, Los Angeles, Irvine, Santa Barbara, and San Diego.

Melissa Matella, associate vice president for labor relations, welcomed the order, stating that the ongoing strike would have hindered students' education and potentially delayed critical research projects. Officials argue that the strike is unrelated to employment terms and violates the union’s contract.

The union, however, contends it is protesting the treatment of its members, some of whom were arrested and forcibly removed by police during demonstrations calling for an end to the Israeli genocidal war in Gaza. “The struggle is not over,” said Rebecca Gross, a UC Santa Cruz graduate student and union leader, on Friday. “It really hasn't been confirmed yet ... that what we’re doing here is illegal in any way.”

On May 1, police in riot gear ordered the dispersal of over a thousand people gathered on campus in support of Palestine, warning that those who refused to leave would be arrested. The night before, police had waited to intervene as counter-protesters attacked the pro-Palestinian encampment, causing injuries.

Pro-Palestinian protests have stirred campuses across the US and Europe, with students demanding their universities cease business with Israel or companies supporting its military offensive in Gaza.

Police arrested protesters at Stanford University after they occupied the school president's office for several hours on Wednesday.

Most Visited in World
Top World stories
Top Stories