Organizing for Student-Worker Power (OSWP) is a caucus within UAW 2865. We are brought together by multiple shared convictions: that majority-building is essential to democratic unionism; that our campaigns must emerge from the day-to-day workplace struggles and experiences of our members; and that on-the-ground organizing is the only way to survive what may be the most challenging moment in our local’s history, and to achieve liberation for all workers. In the aftermath of Janus vs. AFSCME, a Supreme Court case that was the culmination of a decades-long right-wing attack on organized labor, we share a belief that the best way forward is to do what we do best: build student-worker power.
Building our Union entails both expanding membership and organizing around issues that matter to existing members. Remaining true to our union’s commitment to a social movement unionism that rejects any false trade-off between “social justice” and “bread-and-butter” issues, OSWP seeks to expand our Union's prior victories for gender and racial justice, and to engage a mass movement of academic workers to transform the university into a more equitable institution, a UC for All. OSWP candidates are united in the conviction that our best answer to Janus, both financially and politically, is a large, active, and politically educated membership, and we are committed to developing and implementing structures to support this goal.
The UC Student-Workers Union underwent a member-driven transformation in its culture, ethic, and leadership years ago. We are inheritors of that change, and today, we must carry forward the revolutionary gains of these past unionists. As a member-led union, we believe it is integral that decisions about programmatic vision are generated by members and that proposals are adopted by the Joint Council and/or campuses. Ensuring member involvement will require improving communication between our campus- and statewide organizations, but it also means improving relationships between campuses and field organizers so that we all work toward a common, member-driven goal.