Kamala Harris pulls out of Berkeley commencement speech in support of employee strike

Kamala Harris pulls out of Berkeley commencement speech in support of employee strike
© Greg Nash

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisFox contributor: Warren's ancestors 'rounded up Cherokees for the Trail of Tears' The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Pollsters: White college-educated women to decide if Dems capture House Trump, Feinstein feud intensifies over appeals court nominees MORE (D-Calif.) has pulled out of her commencement speech at the University of California, Berkeley in solidarity with the university’s workers, who are striking over pay inequality.

“Due to the ongoing labor dispute, Sen. Harris regretfully cannot attend and speak at this year’s commencement ceremony at UC Berkeley,” Harris’s office said in a statement, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“She wishes the graduates and their families a joyous commencement weekend and success for the future,” the statement read. “They are bright young leaders and our country is counting on them.”

Harris, 53, seen as a possible 2020 White House contender, was scheduled to speak at the university’s graduation ceremony this coming weekend.


Thousands of employees at the university’s 10 campuses, including custodians and security guards, began a three-day strike on Monday, which the labor union called for over a contract dispute.

Nearly 30,000 medical workers from the school’s five medical centers are expected to join the strike.

The university announced that Chancellor Carol Christ will speak in Harris’s place, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Without naming the university, Harris tweeted Monday night a message in support of fair wages and safe working conditions, which both align with the university employee’s demands.