Concerns Raised as GSI Union President Resigns

Related Articles »





  • Printer Friendly Printer Friendly
  • Comments Comments (0)


Correction Appended

The president of a union representing nearly 12,000 academic student employees throughout the University of California resigned Friday morning to pursue work with the international branch of the union, raising concerns among some union members regarding the timing of her resignation.

After almost three years serving as president of the United Auto Workers 2865 - which represents graduate student instructors, readers and tutors within the UC - Christine Petit resigned at a union executive board meeting in Los Angeles Friday.

Per union bylaws, Daraka Larimore-Hall, a UC Santa Barbara graduate student and formerly the union's northern vice president, was sworn in at the meeting as the new president.

According to Petit, her reasons for resigning stem from her work as a union organizer for the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America - the larger union that UAW Local 2865 falls under. Since January she has been working on

the international union's campaign to organize auto workers in the South. Part of this campaign includes global solidarity work.

"We've been doing some great work to support auto workers all over the world, like Korea, Mexico, India to name a few," Petit said. "It's really been intensifying in the last few months, so it was logical for me to concentrate my efforts there."

The timing of Petit's resignation - two weeks after the union's vacant elected positions were filled uncontested - has stirred some contention, said Charlie Eaton, a trustee for UAW Local 2865 and a member of the union's opposition caucus, Academic Workers for a Democratic Union. Eaton said because the resignation fell after vacancy elections, Larimore-Hall will appoint someone to fill the now vacant northern vice president position. Had Petit stepped down before the election, the position would have been opened up to an election, Eaton said.

"It's really bad for our membership that our executive board is being filled through this game of musical chair appointments, instead of letting members vote for change in an election for the leadership of this union," he said.

However, Petit said increased work with the international union, not vacancy elections, determined her decision.

Larimore-Hall said he is consulting union leaders before making the decision of who will fill his seat. He added that focus should be on the challenges the union is currently facing.

"As president, what I want to do is focus on the work we have before us," he said. "We want to focus on enforcing our contract, informing and involving the membership and fighting for progressive change in California."

Tags: UNITED AUTO WORKERS LOCAL 2865

Correction: Thursday, February 24, 2011
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Petit has worked since January for the international union, organizing workers in a variety of countries. In fact she has worked for the union since before January organizing workers in the South. The Daily Californian regrets the error.

The Daily Californian regrets the error.

Aaida Samad covers higher education. Contact her at [email protected]



Comments (0) »

Comment Policy
The Daily Cal encourages readers to voice their opinions respectfully in regards to both the readers and writers of The Daily Californian. Comments are not pre-moderated, but may be removed if deemed to be in violation of this policy. Comments should remain on topic, concerning the article or blog post to which they are connected. Brevity is encouraged. Posting under a pseudonym is discouraged, but permitted. Click here to read the full comment policy.
White space
Left Arrow
Higher Education
Image Student regent resigns after sex crime allegations
Jesse Cheng officially announced his resignation from his positio...Read More»
Higher Education
Image UC spared additional cuts in budget revision
While the University of California escaped further funding reductions M...Read More»
Higher Education
Image UC Board of Regents wary of unreliable state funds
SAN FRANCISCO - Following the release of Gov. Jerry Brown's revis...Read More»
Higher Education
Image UC Student Regent Jesse Cheng announces his resign...
Former UC Student Regent Jesse Cheng announced in an open le...Read More»
Higher Education
Image Reform caucus sweeps executive positions in electi...
A little more than five months after a contentious contract rat...Read More»
Right Arrow




Job Postings

White Space