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Trade workers at Cal State San Bernardino, Cal Poly Pomona go on strike

Toni Lopez

Trade workers across the Cal State University system walked off the job this morning to protest unfair labor practices.

The one day strike is taking place two weeks after Teamsters Local 2010 and the CSU failed to reach an agreement on new employee contracts.

Teamsters Local 2010 represents 1,100 electricians, plumbers, mechanics, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) technicians that work across the CSU’s 23 campuses.

According to the union, skilled workers at the CSU are bringing home paychecks that are on average 23% less than their counterparts at the University of California.

Unionized trade workers at Cal State San Bernardino gathered near the main entrance to begin picketing around 6 am.

Jesse James is a maintenance mechanic at Cal State San Bernardino. He says that he’s striking today because the university is negotiating in bad faith. He and others shared that the CSU is resorting to bullying to discourage collective action.

“They’ve been doing this for the last 30 years to us,” he said. “So, it’s about time for them to step up and do the right thing.”

At Cal Poly Pomona, striking workers blocked an intersection on Kellogg Drive and chanted workplace demands on bullhorns.

Mike Perez is a maintenance supervisor on campus. He says the CSU administration is receiving raises and disregarding the needs of union workers.

“We're out here fighting for what we think is the right thing to do and show them that we deserve our fair share of the compensation,” he said

The CSU shared in a statement that they believe the strike is not lawful, but remain committed to reaching an agreement with workers.

CSU faculty with the California Faculty Association also plan to strike in December.