12,100 on Strike at UCLA & UC Davis – After 8 Migrant Farmworkers Die, Pressure Mounts for Reform – Mercedes Used at least 11 Unionbusters

UCLA and UC Davis workers strike over police brutality against anti-war protestors (Mike Blake/Reuters)


Greetings from the Burgh, where we are preparing to announce some major news from a major funder (stay tuned). 

$1,050 Raised for “Hot Shop, Union Summer” Fund 

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12,100 Employees on Strike at UCLA and UC Davis 

At UC Davis and UCLA, over 12,100 graduate employees, members of the UAW, are on strike, joining UC Santa Cruz graduate employees who struck last week. 

Since their union is supporting a ceasefire in Gaza, the union is alleging that violent police retaliation against them is a violation of union rights. It’s the first time that a union in the US has used such legal logic to strike and could inspire more strikes. 

“We’re at a total inflection point in the labor movement right now,” McCann, a USC civil engineering graduate student worker told LA Times. “The fact that they’re taking a stand to hold their university accountable is historic.” USC graduate workers were attending the picket in support.

For more, check out LA Times. 

Mercedes Employed 11 Union Busters in Alabama

HuffPost labor reporter Dave Jamieson has used federal records to show that Mercedes employed at least 11 union busters from 3 different consulting firms to defeat the UAW in Alabama (See his story here)

The employment of 11 full-time union busters, gives us a sense of the degree of sophistication that Mercedes employed to target employees, often employing psychological surveys to figure out which workers would be anti-union. 

The disclosure of the use of so many union busters comes as a result of a federal filing posted only after the UAW election. The delay in disclosing this information has led some to call for changes to disclosure rules. 

“Few workers are aware of the great lengths (and expense) to which their employers go to deprive them of a union. If they did know, perhaps they would treat union-busters’ – who often present themselves to workers as neutral educators – claims with a bit more skepticism,” wrote labor lawyer Sharon Block and Reed Shaw. “Congress wanted workers to know when they were being manipulated by professional union-busters. That’s one reason it passed the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) long ago in 1959.”

For more, check out On Labor. 

Pharmacy Workers File for More Union Elections at CVS

Following the pandemic, we have seen a massive uptick in the organizing of pharmacists. This week, two CVS pharmacies are moving to unionize in Rhode Island. The filings are the fourth and fifth NLRB petitions filed for union elections at CVS in less than 2 months. 

“We are proud to join our colleagues in standing up for the improved conditions our patients deserve,” said Chris DesRochers, a pharmacy technician at Rhode Island CVS Wakefield in a statement. “By forming a wall-to-wall pharmacy union, where all pharmacy workers will be covered, we are building a union with the power to bring true change.”

For more, check out the Pharmacy Guild. 

Unions Condemn Democratic Colorado Governor Jared Polis for Veto of Captive Audience Ban 

Earlier this month, Democratic Colorado Governor Jared Polis vetoed a bill, which would ban captive audience anti-union meetings. Unions in the state were outraged by his veto. 

“Governor Polis’ decision to veto the Worker Freedom Act sends a deeply disappointing message to workers who have supported him and his agenda, including Teamsters Local 455 members, that their priorities are not important in the state capitol,” said Dean Modecker, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 455. “In vetoing this legislation passed by both the Colorado House and Senate, the governor is ignoring the will of the people and the state legislature. The fight does not end here, and the Teamsters will hold Governor Polis accountable for this decision.”

For more, check out Colorado Public Radio

After 8 Farmworkers Killed, Pressure Mounts to Require Seatbelts on Migrant Worker Busses

Finally, a bus carrying farmworkers was hit by a drunk driver earlier this month; killing 8 farmworkers. 

Now, workers rights groups are pressuring the Florida legislature to require seat belts on old school buses that carry migrant farmworkers into the field. From the Miami Herald

“In the early 2000s, lawmakers were inundated with a series of news stories and reports about poor conditions faced by people working in Florida’s agricultural fields. Florida’s governor at the time, Jeb Bush, called for laws to protect farmworkers from exploitation and advocated for pay raises for laborers. 

But a state legislative commission dedicated to migrant labor issues, including transportation concerns in light of the 2004 crash, hasn’t met since 2006 following lack of interest from legislative leaders. Lawmakers in recent years ignored calls for safety reforms like mandatory water breaks and access to shade for workers. Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has long pushed for cracking down on illegal immigration and migrant labor, this year signed a bill banning local governments from passing ordinances that provide workers protection from the heat.

In the two weeks since the crash, DeSantis hasn’t posted on social media or held news conferences to talk about those who died or were injured.”

For more, check out the Miami Herald

Strikes & News Happening Elsewhere

Alright folks,that’s all for today. Keep sending story ideas, comments and complaints to [email protected] 

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Love & Solidarity, 


About the Author

Mike Elk
Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter and alumni of the Guardian. In addition to filing nearly 2,000 stories from 46 states, Elk traveled with Lula from Sáo Bernando do Campos all the way to the Oval Office in the White House. Credited by the Washington Post for being the first reporter to track the strike wave systematically, Elk started Payday Report using his NLRB settlement from being illegally fired for union organizing in 2015. He lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh and works frequently in Rio de Janeiro, where he attended college at PUC-Rio. He speaks both Portuguese and Pittsburghese fluently. His email is [email protected]