Teamsters Local 2010 members and supporters march on strike outside the CSUN library on Nov. 14.
Teamsters Local 2010 members and supporters march on strike outside the CSUN library on Nov. 14.
Griffin O’Rourke

Teamsters union on strike

Teamsters Local 2010 walked out across the 22 CSU campuses on Tuesday, rallying 1,100 of their skilled trade workers to demand better wages.

At noon, the Teamsters gathered California Faculty Association members, California State University Employees Union members, and students outside the University Library for a loud demonstration.

The Teamsters then marched from the library to Valera Hall, CSUN’s administration building, where they chanted union songs and called for a return to the bargaining table.

From Valera Hall, they marched down Cleary Walk, passing the Associated Students Farmers Market and ending at the library. This Teamsters chapter comprises skilled trades workers like plumbers, electricians, carpenters and more.

The strike was a result of the CSU not meeting the union’s demands on open articles for updated wages and better working conditions. A bargaining team sought to negotiate with CSU management on Oct. 31, but talks fell through.

“They need to stop their unfair labor practice and come back to the table and bargain with us,” said Christopher Rooney, a member of the bargaining team. “They pushed us into the impasse and mediation over salary and benefits when there are open articles on the table.”

The pay for skilled trade workers has stagnated. CSU wages have fallen behind comparable University of California wages by an average of 23.6%, according to the union. Employees at the CSU who have been working for over a decade report no rise in their wages.

“The problem with working at the CSU is there’s no way to get to the top,” Rooney said. “They hire you at $4,000 and you think you’re going to get to $8,000, but there’s no way to get there. I’ve been here 32 years and I’m near the bottom of my pay range.”

Meanwhile, CSU executives have received heavy pay raises. CSU Chancellor Mildred Garcia received about a 27% wage increase over her predecessor – $625,000 to $795,000.

There were many supporters marching alongside the Teamsters, including members from the CFA and CSUEU.

“We’re just trying to support each other right now,” said CSUEU member John Dorusinec. “I’m not getting paid while I’m out here.”

CFA and CSUEU members could not call a strike because their unions are stuck in a fact-finding process, but that didn’t stop individuals from showing solidarity.

Students also showed solidarity during the strike, marching alongside union members and chanting the same slogans.

“The CSU has a history of being greedy, not just with the workers or staff, but with the students as well,” said CSUN student Joshua Gallardo. “Everything ties back to what they’re trying to do to just feed their own egos, feed their own pockets.”

Union members hope that this strike will drag the CSU back to the bargaining table, but are prepared to do more prolonged strikes if management does not budge.

“We have a coalition with the CFA and some of the other unions,” Rooney said. “We’ll do a more extended strike with them if we can’t get them back to the table. That’s what’s going to happen.”

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