Our caucus arises out of a broad coalition of rank and file and elected unionistxs from across state of California who are organizing together as a radical left group within the UC Student-Workers Union (UAW 2865). We are oriented towards building broad coalitions for collective joint struggle to empower each other to transform our lives to better meet our individual and collective needs. Our organizing emphasizes an ongoing commitment to learning about and undoing deeply rooted global systems of oppression in ourselves, at our worksites, in our communities, and within our union. We seek to move beyond a verbal commitment to social justice, asking instead “How can we be more active and accountable accomplices in the coalitional struggles that will get us all free?”
What We Believe
- We believe in member-led and member-driven unions.
- We work to dismantle hierarchies that do not serve us, and we commit centering the rank and file as the strategists and agents of our own struggles.
- We believe in transparency, accountability, and collaboration in decision making that impacts all of us.
- We believe in coalitions and solidarities that last and expand beyond our union space, connecting our campuses to our surrounding communities on a global scale.
- We believe in building mass movements through organizing that centers people, community, and deep relationships full of accountability and agency to create solidarity, mutual aid, and accomplice-ship.
- We believe in union spaces that recognize and value labor in its multiple forms: intellectual, emotional, physical, and embodied.
- We believe in organizing against toxic systems of oppression like white supremacy, anti-Blackness, and settler colonialism; we commit to working to undo these and other systems of oppression within ourselves and our union by centering a femme politic of care.
- We believe in the sustainability of our work, our bodies, our relationships, and our movements; our energy and resources are precious, and we steward them with collective care.
- We believe in intersectional struggle; for us, this means a commitment to actively center the most marginalized, including those not yet in our spaces.
- We believe in valuing and supporting a diversity of approaches to organizing.
- We believe in building collective, liberatory power.
Over the past year, while our union has experienced rapid growth, we have also witnessed a number of harmful dynamics that have taken root in our union’s leadership. Specifically, we have experienced drastic shifts in our union’s structure and organizing culture, resulting in power consolidations where a few individuals hold a majority of leadership roles; closed committees with non-transparent decision making processes; and deprioritizing grassroots direct action and solidarity with student movements.
These broad dynamics have also resulted in increased harassment and harmful treatment of women of color in union spaces, as well as a number of organizers from marginalized communities leaving union leadership because of overwork, burnout, harassment, and oppressive behaviors on the part of their fellow organizers. The current new structure of the union facilitates these harmful practices.
Our caucus has a vision for a radical union that undoes these harmful practices. We center racial justice and marginalized voices, approaching our organizing and decision-making collaboratively and transparently.
We commit to:
- Collectively building a union that is anti-racist, anti-capitalist, anti-ableist, pro-worker, pro-womxn, pro LGBTQ+, and not anti-Black. We believe that this must be in praxis and not just in rhetoric, which is why we are committed to undoing hierarchies within the union and de-centralizing power so that we center rank and file members as the primary decision-making parties
- Collectively building a union that does not reproduce the logic of the neoliberal university, which is why, while we recognize the challenges of the Supreme Court ruling in Janus vs AFSCME, we don’t look at our members or even potential members solely as sources of revenue but as collaborators in joint struggle
- Supporting campus autonomy to manage their unique organizing needs and contexts
Supporting smaller campuses with fewer members and providing the resources to build toward a majority
- Centering the voices and leadership of those at the margins and recognizing a multiplicity of organizing models and leadership styles
- Supporting each other in taking care of our bodies, access needs, communities, and entering into union spaces as our whole selves
- Actively structuring membership input in bargaining and campaign building
- Facilitating cross-caucus collaboration that values and affirms different organizing talents and capacities in order to realize collective liberation