In the final hours of voting on a proposed contract (go vote if you haven’t!), serious concerns have emerged about whether the UAW 2865 contract ratification vote has been administered and will be counted in a free, fair, and transparent manner. We believe that there are probably  enough “no” votes for us to win this election even with a certain amount of fraud and/or tampering on the part of Administration Caucus members. (The Administration Caucus has been the central apparatus of the UAW’s single-party state for over 60 years, and the entire inner circle of UAW 2865 leadership are Administration Caucus members.)

  • There are concerns concerns that votes will be counted in an irregular manner. The chair of the Elections Committee, Fawn Huisman, has refused to share information with the Elections Committee members on other campuses about daily campus turnout figures, despite stipulating before the beginning of the vote that she would do so. When asked the reasons for this change by Elections Committee members and dozens of rank-and-file members, she offered no explanation.
  • This makes it impossible for members of the elections committee to track possible irregularities in campus voting patterns day-by-day.
  • The chair of the Elections Committee, Fawn Huisman, stipulated a procedure in which there would be no count of the votes on each campus; instead, all votes are being sent to the union’s UCLA office to be counted. (The union’s headquarters are in Berkeley, so this choice of location already raises eyebrows.)
  • For every previous union election, votes have been counted on each individual campus and the results sent to statewide headquarters.
  • This is the first seriously contested election in the history of the local, since certification at UC Santa Barbara.
  • There are allegations that the same leadership team fixed the results of a previous vote. (See “Pyrrhic Victory at UC Santa Barbara: The Struggle for Labor’s New Identity.” Pp. 91-116 in Cogs in the Classroom Factory: The Changing Identity of Academic Labor, edited by D. M. Herman and J. M. Schmid. Westport, Conn.: Praeger Publishers, p. 105.)
  • There have been other, local irregularities:
    • Use of a transparent ballot box at UC Santa Barbara – one side of which remained transparent days later in the vote after it was first brought to the attention of elections officials.
    • Poll-workers who are paid staff at UC Irvine telling voters how to vote, in violation of a union rule that electioneering must take place at least 10 feet from the polls.
  • Two scenarios for vote-tampering have been suggested:
    • Top Administration Caucus members could stuff the ballot boxes and alter the voting rolls at Southern California campuses where are running the elections and have easy access to the ballot box outside of voting hours.
    • Top Administration Caucus members could replace entire sets of ballots from those campuses with “yes” votes and mix the ballots from various campuses before counting them.

In light of these concerns, we demand a campus-by-campus tally of the votes tonight so that members can have faith in the results. We also demand that all Elections Committee members have full access to voting rolls and day-by-day turnout figures for every campus.

We realize these are serious allegations. Our concerns about possible fraud are just that – concerns, based on real historical patterns and current anomalies. We have just received word that members will be allowed to observe the vote count, a positive sign for transparency.

To those who would use these concerns to fuel an anti-union agenda here or elsewhere: get your sorry act out of here. We are pro-union, and we are engaged in the process of reforming our union, fighting for transparency and a real contract campaign, because teaching assistants, readers, and tutors need a democratic, creative union consisting of all of us fighting for fair treatment on the job in solidarity with students and other campus workers. We criticize officials who have misused our union, but we will not allow their misdeeds or anti-union propaganda to divide us.


Update: Each campus will be allowed one No and one Yes challenger and all union members will be permitted access to witness the ballot counting.

Counting will start 10pm or later.  Having members present will pressure union officials to be civil.  PLEASE JOIN US! @UAW UCLA office, 900 Hilgard Ave., Suite 311, Los Angeles, CA 90024