We are postdoctoral researchers at the University of California who are concerned about the current unionization procedure of the UAW (The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America). We believe that the right of postdocs to freely choose whether they want to form a labor union can only be guaranteed by a transparent, open and public process.
The process that took place in 2008 was neither transparent nor open. It can be accurately described as fraudulent behavior on the part of the UAW representatives.
We brought our concerns to: Anita Martinez at Public Employee Relations Board (PERB), UC President Mark Yudof, UC Davis Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef, and UAW itself. These concerns were universally ignored. Most disturbing was the failure of PERB to acknowledge or address our concerns. From PERB’s website:
“The major functions performed by PERB staff involve the evaluation and adjudication of the unfair practice charges filed with PERB, and the administration of the process through which employees select organizations to represent them in their labor relations with their employer.”
Yet when, in 2008, we brought the identical concerns raised in 2006 over UC postdoc unionization, nothing has happened. These concerns, when addressed in 2006, resulted in revocation of so many fraudulently obtained signature cards, that UAW no longer had a majority and could not be granted status as the sole bargaining unit for UC postdocs. To be fair, our concerns reached PERB too late but the reason for this is exactly that UAW acted so secretively and its operations stayed under the radar of our as well as many other postdocs. When the questionable behavior of UAW became known to us it was already too late to complain to PERB because the statue of limitation has already run out.
We hope that by providing information on these pages concerning the history of UAW in academic representation, the history of PRO/UAW, detailing the fraudulent authorization card collecting practices of UAW reps, the result will be an open and transparent debate, allowing the true will of UC postdocs to be heard, be it for or against a union.