UC Berkeley Workers Protest Poverty Wages at Big Game

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UC Berkeley Workers Protest Poverty Wages at Big Game

Over 20 UC workers fought the rain on Saturday, November 19 protesting food insecurity and hunger due to low wages in front of the Big Game.

A recent study by Occidental College shows that 70% of University of California full time clerical, administrative, and support workers suffer from food insecurity or hunger.  The workers are at risk for hunger at a rate five times the national average. They have seen their real income decline by 24% over the past two decades.

“It’s hard to admit that even working full-time for a world renowned University, that many of us have to skip meals or rely on snacks to get by,” said Joseph Meyer, a records assistant at UC Berkeley.

Eight out of ten food insecure support staff are forced to choose between buying food and paying rent or utilities. Six in ten are forced to choose between buying food and paying for medicine or medical care.

“Even with budgeting, I am forced into the difficult situation of choosing between food or my rent.  It’s just not right,” said Gloria Rios, a UC Berkeley administrative assistant.

The UC administrative support workers are asking UCB alumni and donors, including large donors such as the Goldman and Haas families, to consider that their support is being used to promote poverty and hunger for UC workers.

The Goldman and Haas family foundations have given more than $36 million to UC Berkeley.  The stadium plaza where the Bears play their home games bears the Goldman name.

A big thanks to everyone who came out and made this action possible.  We will continue to fight hunger and win fair wages at UC.