Support UCI Custodians Against Discriminatory Layoffs and Harassment!
An Injury to One is an Injury to All! Support the UCI Custodians! UC Irvine has begun to fire the newly insourced custodians! UCI administrators and managers are waging a campaign of intimidation and harassment against the insourced custodians by issuing disciplinary warnings (euphemistically called “counseling memos”) to more than 30 of the newly hired workers. Many of these workers have been employed on the UCI campus for more than 15 years without any disciplinary problems. Yet, in under a three-month period, UCI supervisors and mangers have issued numerous disciplinary warning letters in an obvious attempt to intimidate this vocal group of workers, many of whom were active participants in the four year campaign to end subcontracting on campus. Taking advantage of their probationary status, UCI managers are harassing and intimidating workers in what amounts to reprisals against these union-minded workers for their labor activism. More outrageously, UCI is now using the recently issued “counseling memos” as a basis to layoff workers! The UCI webpage for the Office of the Chancellor promotes a “commitment to values” for the Irvine campus. It calls on the UCI community to uphold, in words and actions, the following core values of the university: Respect, Integrity, Commitment, Empathy, and Appreciation. Yet, Chancellor Drake, along with UCI administrators and managers, has failed to lead by example. The campaign of intimidation and the firings amount to a betrayal of UCI’s core values. Where is the respect for these workers? Where is the commitment to and appreciation of the invaluable service these workers provide the campus? Where is the integrity of UCI administrators and managers, who fail to do the right thing by ending this campaign of intimidation and by rehiring the fired workers! Silvia Díaz is one of the recently fired custodians. She was an active member of the Workers’ Insourcing Committee, a vocal participant at numerous demonstrations, and a strong proponent of respect and appreciation for service workers. Her firing is no accident, but rather an open attack on an important member of the Insourced Workers’ Committee and the AFSCME Union. The University continues to make students and workers sacrifice to meet its bottom line! Facilities are already understaffed, and UCI management is looking to further shrink its workforce in order to cut its labor costs and dramatically overwork those who remain. The recent “counseling memos” and the firing of custodians is one more example of UCI administration continuing to put profits over people—and therefore, of undermining the very core values it claims to uphold! It’s time to hold UCI administrators and managers accountable! We, the undersigned, stand in solidarity with the custodians and workers from the Facilities Management department who are demanding respect at the workplace. We demand that Facilities management stop giving workers baseless disciplinary letters! We demand an end to the campaign of intimidation and harassment against the recently insourced workers! We demand the rescinding of the disciplinary letters already issued. We demand that UCI immediately reinstate Silvia Díaz and put an end to discriminatory terminations!