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A California judge ordered University of California academic workers to end their strike after they have been walking picket lines at several campuses in protest of the university system’s response to anti-Israel demonstrations on campuses.

Orange County Superior Court Judge Randall Sherman handed the ruling down on Friday, according to CNS.

The university system filed suit earlier last week aiming to end the strikes by the workers’ union, United Auto Workers Local 4811, after two unsuccessful attempts to obtain an injunction against the union from the state Public Employment Relations Board.

“We are extremely grateful for a pause in this strike, so our students can complete their academic studies,” UC associate vice president for Systemwide Labor Relations Melissa Matella said in a statement after Friday’s ruling. “The strike would have caused irreversible setbacks to students’ academic achievements and may have stalled critical research projects in the final quarter.”


Academic workers at UCLA went on strike

Academic workers at UCLA went on strike Tuesday, May 28, 2024, alleging their workers’ rights have been violated by University of California actions during pro-Palestinian protests and encampment crackdowns. (Getty Images)

“From the beginning, we have stated this strike was illegal and a violation of our contracts’ mutually agreed upon no-strike clauses,” Matella continued. “We respect the advocacy and progressive action towards issues that matter to our community and our community’s right to engage in lawful free speech activities — activities that continue to occur across the system. However, UAW’s strike is unrelated to employment terms, violates the parties’ agreements, and runs contrary to established labor principles.”

The unionized workers began their strike at UC Santa Cruz before their protests spread to UCLA, UC Davis, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine.

“For the last month, UC has used and condoned violence against workers and students peacefully protesting on campus for peace and freedom in Palestine,” UAW Local 4811 President Rafael Jaime previously said in a statement.

Jaime called on UC at the time to drop all criminal and conduct charges against the group’s members “because they spoke out against injustice.”

UAW Local 4811 is demanding the UC schools give amnesty to all academic employees and students who were arrested or hit with disciplinary actions for protesting at campuses. The union also requested that students be given guarantees of freedom of speech and political expression on campus, and asked that researchers be allowed to opt out of funding sources tied to the Israeli Defense Forces.


UCLA workers strike

UCLA academic workers from United Auto Workers Local 4811 picket on the first day of their strike on May 28, 2024, in Los Angeles, California. (Getty Images)


Anti-Israel demonstrators have protested on college campuses in California and across the country since the Israel-Hamas war began on Oct. 7 following Hamas’ attack against the Jewish State, leading to retaliatory action from Israeli forces.

UC has criticized the union’s allegations against it and filed unfair labor practice complaints of its own, arguing that the union’s labor contract has a no-strike provision and that the union’s demands are outside the scope of union labor issues. 

The university system has also rejected calls for amnesty.

This comes after students and other demonstrators set up anti-Israel encampments on UC campuses in recent months to protest. Hundreds of protesters were arrested amid the demonstrations.

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