On Strike At UC Commencements

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

Yet another celebrity has backed out of a commencement address at a California university to show solidarity with striking employees. “Actress Mayim Bialik announced on Twitter on Thursday afternoon that she will not be speaking at the commencement ceremony for the College of Letters and Sciences,” Madeleine Pauker reported in The Daily Bruin. “Bialik said she declined to speak at the ceremony to support the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3299, which represents University of California service workers such as custodians, nurses and food service workers.”

“The union has not yet reached a contract agreement with the UC and held a strike from May 7 to 9 after negotiating for a six percent annual wage increase for more than a year. In the announcement, Bialik said labor issues are important to her because her grandparents were sweatshop workers and her parents were civil rights activists.”

U. S. Senator Kamala Harris, D-California, backed out of a commencement address at Berkeley for the same reason. We noted that the workers seem to have some legitimate complaints.

Nevertheless, we have to wonder, if speakers keep bowing out for this reason, will these state universities in California wind up asking conservatives to make cameo appearances on campus?