Communication from the Sit Down to UAW leadership

2 May

This message was sent from the members sitting down at the statewide office of our local at 5pm today.

To the Elections Committee, the incumbent Executive Board, Regional Director Jim Wells and International Representatives Mike Miller and Ken Lang:

We are members of UAW 2865 from UC Berkeley, UC Davis and UC Santa Cruz. We are writing from the statewide office of our local where members have been present since 9am. At 11:30am today more than 100 members rallied on Berkeley campus and more than 60 joined the ongoing sit down in the office to make one demand: count our votes.

We understand that the USEJ candidates and Daraka Larimore-Hall have publicly committed in an email sent Saturday night to resume the vote count, and Mike Miller has expressed his commitment to resuming the vote count as soon as possible in a call with Cheryl Deutsch and Charlie Eaton today. We are very happy to hear this commitment. From the moment that Travis Knowles, chair of the elections committee, passed an out of order motion to end the vote count and then abandon the ballots we have been waiting for the vote count to resume.

We believe that the vote count must resume immediately and we are committed to remain in our union office until the counting of the votes is finished. We find it outrageous that the elections committee left the vote count without any plan for ensuring the security of the ballots at the UCLA union office. It has been left up to the goodwill of members—the same members who are being accused of disrupting the vote count—to secure and monitor the ballots.

We take inspiration from the sit down strikes of the 1930s upon which UAW’s strength was founded that showed that the best way to enforce our rights as workers and union members is to take collective action. As union members we affirm our right to be in our union office, especially at this moment when so many members are confused, disappointed and frustrated and are seeking to discuss and coordinate our response to this shocking suspension of our democratic rights.

Of course, we also believe that the organizing and clerical staff of the local have every right to be here and continue their work given that our presence in no way impedes their work. It goes without saying that we will respect this space which after all belongs to us, the members.

We await your immediate reply affirming your commitment to restart the vote count.

Members of UAW 2865


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