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UC Looks Into Claim of Porn on University Rep’s Screen During Strike Talks

Written by Kevin V. NguyenPublished Dec. 02, 2022 • 6:00am
Academic workers call for a Strike Authorization Vote at UCLA on Oct. 12, 2022. | Courtesy Phil Travis/UC Student-Workers Union UAW 2865

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The ongoing saga between the University of California and its academic workers took a bizarre turn Wednesday when a member of the UC’s bargaining team allegedly had pornography on his screen during a negotiation session.

The alleged event gained attention online after a graduate student instructor at UC Berkeley named Xander Lenc tweeted about the incident:

The tweet said: “One of the UC’s bargaining team members had a bunch of pornhub (sic) tabs open on his browser when he shared his screen during negotiations, and the group chats are buzzing with debate over whether it’s unethical to make fun of him.” 

Lenc declined The Standard’s request for an interview. 

The University of California’s Office of the President said in an emailed statement that, “The university takes it seriously and is looking into these allegations.” The university declined to provide further information.

Nearly 50,000 UC academic workers across the state authorized the largest labor action in the country last month. Striking workers described living hand-to-mouth, given their low pay and the sky-high costs of living in the Bay Area. They demand wage increases, better support for working parents and anti-bullying protections, among other benefits.

The union representing the workers, United Auto Workers, was also contacted for comment. 

On Nov. 29, two bargaining units reached tentative agreements with the university system. The two units only include around 12,000 workers at the UC, which means around 37,000 workers are still working toward an agreement. 

As to the fate of the person allegedly looking at porn while negotiating a labor contract, recent high-profile incidents may offer some clues. 

In April, British lawmaker Neil Parish resigned after he was caught watching porn in the House of Commons. Parish initially tried to pass it off as a search for “tractors” gone wrong.  

In 2020, longtime New Yorker staff writer Jeffrey Toobin was also suspended from his job before ultimately being fired after he allegedly exposed himself during a work Zoom call. 

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