The former president was scheduled to address 4,000 graduating seniors on Friday, but his office said he would not appear because of the long-running rift between the university and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
The 20,000 workers involved in the wage dispute range from technicians at UC medical facilities to janitors and landscapers. Contract talks have sputtered for months.
“Due to the ongoing labor dispute, he regrets that he will be unable to participate in commencement this year and he wishes the UCLA graduates the best of luck,” a statement from Clinton’s office said Tuesday.
Instead, UCLA Chancellor Gene Block will deliver keynote remarks.
Judith L. Smith, dean and vice provost of undergraduate education at the UCLA College of Letters and Science, said in a statement that it was “unfortunate” that the labor dispute spilled into a day “intended to celebrate student achievement.”
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