Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Graduation speaker boycott urged

The University of California’s largest employee union is calling for a boycott of school speaking engagements, according to AFSCME Local 3299. The union represents more than 24,000 employees at the University of California's 10 campuses, five medical centers, various clinics, research laboratories and UC Hastings College of the Law.

The union is seeking the boycott as the university has started naming guest speakers ahead of spring graduation ceremonies. Scheduled guest speakers include former U.S. first lady Michelle Obama, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, San Francisco Mayor London Breed, California first partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom and California Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis.

The call for a boycott comes after a strike by service and patient care workers that began April 10. In an unfair labor practice charge, members of AFSCME Local 3299 accuse the university of workplace retaliation, threats of police citation and other actions that interfere with their rights...

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