The protest strike began on May 20 at the UC Santa Cruz campus, and was expanded over the following two weeks to encompass UCLA, UC Davis near Sacramento, and campuses at San Diego, Santa Barbara and Irvine. Those six campuses account for roughly 31,500 UAW members. The UC system has a total of 10 campuses.

Continuation of the strike “would have caused irreversible setback to the students’ academic achievements and may have stalled critical research projects in the final quarter,” Melissa Matella, UC’s associate vice president for labor relations, said in a statement welcoming the restraining order.

Judge Randall Sherman set a hearing for Jun 27 to hear arguments on whether to extend the injunction. The union’s own strike authorisation expires on Jun 30.

UAW 4811 leaders denounced the ruling, saying the judge defied the authority of the Employment Relations Board by intervening in a labor matter outside the court’s jurisdiction.

Nevertheless, the union said its members were abiding by the court order. The UAW said it would focus its efforts on an upcoming grievance proceeding against the university.

Among other things, the union is demanding amnesty for grad students and other academic workers who were arrested or face discipline for their roles in campus protests against Israel’s military offensive in the besieged Palestinian territory of Gaza.

The strike marked the first union-backed protest in solidarity with a surge of pro-Palestinian student activism on dozens of US campuses in recent months.

The UAW said it was planning additional protests at UC Davis on Tuesday and at UCLA on Wednesday.

Union leaders have said a major impetus for the strike was the arrest of 210 people, including campus-employed grad students, at the scene of a Palestinian solidarity protest camp torn down by police at UCLA on May 2.

Masked assailants armed with sticks and clubs attacked the encampment and its occupants the night before, sparking a bloody clash that persisted for at least three hours before police restored order.


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