Despite attempts to rig the election by the conservative ruling faction of United Auto Workers (UAW) local 2865, the insurgent Academic Workers for a Democratic Union (AWDU) faction still won their recent elections at the University of California. UAW local 2865 represents over 10,000 graduate student teaching assistants. The old guard USEJ incumbents won no seats on the executive board (according to the Those Who Use It website) and only took 40% of the seats on the local’s statewide council, (according to the Student Activism website).
The AWDU caucus plans to go on the offensive to fight the ongoing attacks on higher education:
“Now it is time for us to bring this strength to our fight against the attacks on higher education. As a next step, we are calling on all graduate students and undergraduate tutors – no matter who they supported in the election – to come together for a statewide membership meeting of the union on May 21st to chart the way forward. We’ll get you more details soon. But high on the agenda is stepping up the fight against increasing class sizes, fee hikes, rising housing costs, new budget cuts, and UC management’s capping of funding for fee remissions and health benefits for graduate student employees.”