Support the National Prison Strike

Dear Member,

In January, our union’s leadership voted to endorse a national prison labor strike.  Now, the Oakland Local of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC) has requested that we stand in solidarity with another Prison Strike set to take place from August 21 through September 9.  Once again, we have voted to endorse this action.

Between August 21 and September 9, incarcerated workers across the country will engage in work-stoppages, sit-ins, and boycotts to spotlight the human rights abuses they endure each day.  Their action is timed to coincide with the anniversary of the Attica Uprising, and the largest prison strike in US history, which took place in September of 2016. Their demands include improved prison conditions, increased access to rehabilitative services, fair compensation for their labor, and reforms to laws that have fueled mass incarceration and stripped incarcerated people of their legal rights.

Endorsing strikes like this lends important support to incarcerated people, and aligns with our union’s promise to seek socially responsible investment and divestment practices at the UC and beyond.  In California, as state investment in public education has plummeted, more and more state funding has been spent locking people up. Incarcerated people have worked in a number of different areas, from making furniture for the UC in the 1980s, to fighting wildland fires today.  The prison system affects many of those who work and study alongside us, which is why the struggle to improve the lives of incarcerated people is directly connected to our own fight for a UC for All.

Our union has added its name to the list of official endorsers of the strike.  If you would like to help more directly, the IWOC has asked individuals to call or send letters to their elected representatives, share the strikers demands, and ask them where they stand on the issue.  A sample script is below.

Solidarity,

Joint Council of UAW Local 2865

*** *** *** *** *** *** ***

Hello, my name is __________, I am a student worker at the University of California and a constituent of _________.  

I am calling to ask whether or not __________ has taken a position on the National Prison Strike, currently taking place across the country.  Incarcerated people have demanded improved prison conditions, increased access to rehabilitative programs, fair compensation for their labor, and reforms to sentencing and prison litigation laws.

As a public employee of the state of California, it concerns me that men and women are kept in inhumane conditions and given little chance to improve their lives.  I urge __________ to express their support for the prison strike and do fight harder for working people in our state.

Do you know if __________ has plans to endorse?

*** *** *** *** *** *** ***

Dear __________,

My name is __________.  I am a student-worker at the University of California, and a constituent of __________.

I am writing to ask whether or not __________ has taken a position on the National Prison Strike, currently taking place across the country.  Incarcerated people have demanded improved prison conditions, increased access to rehabilitative programs, fair compensation for their labor, and reforms to sentencing and prison litigation laws.

As a public employee of the state of California, it concerns me that men and women are kept in inhumane conditions and given little chance to improve their lives.  I urge __________ to endorse the prison strike and do fight harder for working people in our state.

Sincerely,

__________

Member, UAW Local 2865

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