Bill Clinton Cancels UCLA Commencement Speech

Ex-president shows solidarity with union in contract talks with UC.


Because of a never-ending labor dispute between the University of California system and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Bill Clinton has canceled his Friday commencement speech at UCLA, the Daily Bruin reports.

The union represents 20,000 university employees whose contracts have expired, and Clinton's office had said last month that he would not speak unless the dispute was settled. The UCLA chancellor will speak instead.

Failed contract talks in past years between the union and UC prompted UC-Berkeley commencement speakers to forgo ceremonies in 2007 and 2006 (actor Danny Glover and former California Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez, respectively). Nuñez has also canceled his speech this year at UC-Davis, raising the question of, with that track record, why any UC school would even invite him in the first place.