Thousands of UC Medical workers took to the picket lines across California again Wednesday including hundreds employed in the Capital City. UC Davis workers held signs calling for equality, fairness and respect.
“We want equal pay,” said operating room assistant Mohammed Akbar. “It doesn’t matter man, woman, what color, what background, what ethnicity. We’re fighting for equal pay. We’re fighting for justice. We’re fighting to make sure everyone is treated with dignity and respect.”
The workers are represented by AFSCME 3299. The union wants a six-percent pay raise each of the next three years – for a total of 19.1 percent.
Workers were again getting support from the California Nurses Association and the University Professional and Technical Employees Union who had sympathy strikers on the line for a second straight day.
Former Senate Leader Kevin DeLeon also grabbed a sign and joined the march. DeLeon calls UC-Davis “a fine institution” but says that, while California’s economy has grown to the 5th largest in the world, not everyone is feeling the benefits.
“We have so many folks who are struggling to stay in the middle class and so many folks who aspire to be part of the middle class,” said DeLeon. “Anytime there’s an opportunity to give regular folks a wage increase and better benefits at their place of employment, that helps grow the economy, I’m for it 100 percent.”
70 percent of union workers at UC-Davis Medical Center did show up for work Wednesday. Even so, more than 700 patient appointments had to be rescheduled over the course of the strike’s three days.
UC officials believe union demands for a six percent raise each year for the next three years – 19.1 percent in total – are unreasonable. They say the three day statewide walkout won’t change UC’s economic situation.