Sen. Kamala Harris drops out as Cal graduation speaker amid ongoing labor dispute

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- California Senator Kamala Harris says she will not be the commencement speaker at Saturday's graduation ceremony at UC Berkeley.

Harris was booked for months to deliver a commencement address at Cal but her office says she has canceled the engagement, saying she won't attend because of the speaker boycott called by the striking unions.

UC Berkeley officials made the announcement Monday afternoon saying: "We regretfully share the news that, after much consideration, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris has decided not to speak at Saturday's commencement ceremony at UC Berkeley due to a UC-wide speaker boycott called by AFSCME Local 3299."

Officials say that UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ will deliver the keynote address instead.

Harris's office released this statement: "Due to the ongoing labor dispute, Sen. Harris regretfully cannot attend and speak at this year's commencement ceremony at UC Berkeley. She wishes the graduates and their families a joyous commencement weekend and success for the future. They are bright young leaders, and our country is counting on them."

Nearly 6,000 students are expected to participate in the commencement ceremony at Cal's Memorial Stadium Saturday morning.

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