- Associated Press - Thursday, January 5, 2017

LOS ANGELES (AP) - More than 600 plumbers, electricians and other workers will strike the University of California, Los Angeles for five days over what the Teamsters union calls unfair and illegal labor practices, it was announced Thursday.

Teamsters Local 2010 scheduled a walkout to begin at midnight Friday. It could disrupt operations at UCLA’s campus, the UCLA Center for Health Sciences, UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica and Sunday’s men’s basketball game against Stanford University, the union said in a statement.

“The strike is expected to have significant impact on critical services, and will affect students returning from winter break, as well as the public,” the union said. It urged people to reschedule nonessential medical appointments and avoid the UCLA campus and medical centers.

UCLA has said it believes the strike is unlawful. But the school’s request for an injunction to block it was rejected this week by the California Public Employment Relations Board.

UCLA said it has developed plans to keep its campus and medical centers fully operational.

The walkout by skilled trades workers will be followed on Tuesday by a one-day strike against the entire University of California system and five UC hospitals by thousands of clerical and administrative support workers. The Teamsters are negotiating separate contracts for both types of employees.

The local said its skilled trade workers at UCLA have gone four years without a contract or raise, and it contends the university has failed to act in good faith on issues such as retroactive pay.

The local has filed allegations of unfair labor practices and state labor law violations with the California Public Employment Relations Board, but the panel has not yet ruled on them, said Christian Castro, spokesman for the local.

UCLA denied the allegations of wrongdoing and said it has been negotiating with the Teamsters for a new contract since Aug. 30. The latest offer includes an immediate 12.5 percent raise with additional annual raises through 2020, according to the school.

In addition, the University of California has been negotiating with the Teamsters for a new contract for the more than 11,500 clerical and administrative support workers, with the latest offer including 3 percent annual raises for the next six years, according to UCLA.

UCLA respects the contributions of its workers and shares in their desire to come to agreements on fair and competitive contracts in the near future,” a UCLA statement said. “This resolution, however, will be achieved only if all parties engage in respectful and productive dialogue at the bargaining table.”

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This story has been corrected to show that the UCLA-Stanford basketball game is Sunday, not Saturday.

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