Friday, June 7, 2019

Dear Colleague,

The crowd at yesterday's rally.

This is what solidarity looks like. This is what union power feels like.

Yesterday afternoon, UCLA agreed to renew Postdoc Sandra Koch’s appointment. Sandra had previously reported pregnancy discrimination and her appointment had been delayed in retaliation. We received the news as hundreds of Postdocs, Academic Researchers, Academic Student Workers and other community members prepared to march on Murphy Hall (the UCLA admin building). Instead of a protest, the march became a celebration!

This victory is truly a testament to the bravery that Sandra displayed over the last two years in fighting for her right to continue her research career, and to the power of mass collective action. In just the last three days, over 3,000 people signed our petition to UCLA Chancellor Block, and hundreds were ready to stage a sit-in at the UCLA administrative office to demonstrate that we would not allow Sandra to be pushed out of academia.

To echo Sandra's words at the rally, we hope that this will encourage more members of the academic community who are facing discrimination to understand and exercise the collective power we have as a union to stand up for our collective rights and see justice done.

In solidarity,

Academic Researchers United / UAW 5810 UCLA Organizing Committee Members

Silvia Diaz-Perez, Associate Project Scientist
Christian Hofmann, Assistant Project Scientist
Manash Paul, Assistant Researcher
Christina Priest, Assistant Project Scientist
Jiannis Taxidis, Assistant Project Scientist
Rosane Teles, Assistant Project Scientist
Fenfen Wu, Associate Project Scientist
Paolo Zimmaro, Assistant Project Scientist
Elizabeth Zuniga-Sanchez, Assistant Researcher