Tuesday, Nov. 14, CSU Teamsters’ Local 2010 skilled trade members raised their picket signs along Kellogg Drive in protest of what they call the CSU’s unfair labor practices.
Union members and their supporters went on strike from 5:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. Their picket lines were held near the Cal Poly Pomona Student Services Building as a display of power, holding up traffic around Parking Lot F. This was one of the 23 strikes that occurred across all CSU campuses.
According to the Teamsters’ Local 2010 announcement, the decision to strike was made after failure to reach an agreement Oct. 31.
CPP has an approximate total of 40 employee teamster union members, one of which is Mike Perez, the facilities project supervisor in the maintenance shop.
Perez shared his reason for striking was due to the unequal treatment of facility employees with administration in the CSU system.
“We feel like we deserve more,” said Perez. “We got a lot of management that are coming and getting raises, and they’re treating us like we don’t exist. So, our goal of today is to show them that we do count and we’re equal to everyone else.”
The CSU system released a statement the day before the strike calling the strike unlawful.
Nov. 9, five days before the strike, the department of Employee/Labor Relations & Compliance sent out an email to CPP teamsters’ union represented employees. The email reminded the employees that they are not obligated to strike. In addition, it warned that those who don’t go into work are not entitled to use vacation time, sick leave or other accruals to be paid for their time on strike.
The Teamsters shared in their announcement of the strike that members who do strike will receive a “Teamster Strike Benefit” of $100.
Their chants of “CSU! Shame on you!” and “We got the power!” were heard by many.
Michael Quiroz is the Teamsters Local 2010’s union steward at CPP, leading the picket lines and organizing the strike at the university. He is a facilities worker in the maintenance shop in Facilities, Planning & Management.
Quiroz stated that the union’s strike was in direct response to the CSU’s unfair labor practices.
“The union has numerous unfair labor practices charged against the CSU for continued stalling in bargaining, for intimidation and union busting,” said Quiroz.
The Teamsters Local 2010 and the CSU have engaged in prolonged negotiations and the union has reported that the proposals from the CSU are not to their standard. According to Quiroz, the proposals are dependent on “if the budget is good,” something he and the union believe to be an easy out of paying higher wages for staff.
Quiroz shared what the ideal outcome of the bargaining was.
“Last year we took a temporary one-year contract with a 7% general salary increase,” said Quiroz. “We are expecting to get something similar, if not better, per year in a new contract because the CSU grows wealthier every year. They have money set aside that’s not a part of their operating budget.”
Wendy Borboa, a lead union organizer for Teamsters’ Local 2010 was on site, signing members in and handing out picket signs to those on strike.
Borboa explained she is not a representative for the employees of CPP, rather she was there to assist the members and the steward (Quiroz) in their fight to negotiate a fair contract.
“The hope is that the system comes to the table with a fair contract because so far they have not been negotiating in good faith,” said Borboa. “They’ve been stalling negotiations, which is why the workers decided to take a strike vote.”
Members of the California Faculty Association, CSU Employess Union, and other unions also showed up and picketed in solidarity with the Teamsters.
Gwen Urey, a member of the CFA and the chair of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, carried a picket sign while wearing a CFA shirt.
“We unions support each other. I’m out here to support them,” said Urey. “As you know, we’ll be striking on Dec. 4, and we hope some of the teamsters are out supporting us.”
Members of the Teamsters also expressed concern and stood in solidarity with fellow unions.
“A lot of the different unions are not being treated equal,” said Perez. “The higher ups on campus are always being compensated for what they do and everyone below them isn’t shown the same treatment.”
So far, no updates have been made regarding future negotiations or strikes, however the Teamsters’ shared that they are prepared to take further action if needed.