Thousands of workers at University of California campuses are staging a three-day strike after a year of trying and failing to negotiate a new contract with the university administration. And while the strike only lasts three days, UC Berkeley will feel its effects over the weekend, because Sen. Kamala Harris has withdrawn as commencement speaker in solidarity with the workers:
“Due to the ongoing labor dispute, Sen. Harris regretfully cannot attend and speak at this year’s commencement ceremony at UC Berkeley,” said a statement from Harris’ office issued Monday. “She wishes the graduates and their families a joyous commencement weekend and success for the future. They are bright young leaders and our country is counting on them.”
Good for Harris. Speaking at the commencement might not have involved physically crossing an active picket line, but it would have had much the same feel, especially since the workers’ union, AFSCME Local 3229, had also called for a speakers’ boycott. And by supporting the fight for good jobs in expensive California, she’s supporting a better future for the graduating students, too.