UC San Diego’s Housing Dining Hospitality (HDH) outsourced custodial workers during a three-day, UC-wide labor strike partially caused by the UC system’s choice to outsource jobs in the first place.
AFSCME 3299, the UC system’s largest labor union, is striking in part because they say that the UC system is consistently outsourcing jobs typically held by union-represented custodial and maintenance staff.
“Our top priority has been and continues to be the outsourcing of jobs. For them to try and address our strike by bringing more of the problem, which is exploited temporary workers, is unsettling to us,” said AFSCME’s Communications Director, John de Los Angeles.
UCSD Communications Director Christine Clark confirmed to The Triton that HDH contracted with temporary custodial agencies during the strike in an effort to keep the campus functioning.
“We have temporary staff removing trash, providing toilet paper, assisting with cleaning our Dining Facilities at night, and cleaning [for] residents of apartments in graduate housing,” Clark said. “We will not know the final costs of this until the strike is over.”
A study released by Occidental College’s Urban & Environmental Policy Institute shows that 70 percent of UC workers struggle with food insecurity. More so, the union is striking due to the fact that women of color represented by the union earn less starting pay than their white male counterparts.
“If the university is hard to run with the current situation,” said de Los Angeles, “then imagine what it’s going to be five to ten years down the line if the problem continues to fester.”
Gabe Schneider is the Founder of The Triton. You can follow him on Twitter @gabemschneider