A total of 24 people were taken into custody at a rally near the campus after the protesters blocked an intersection, police said.
Those arrested were identified as students, faculty and campus workers. All will face a potential fine or jail time for unlawful assembly, a Davis police representative said.
About 200 people in all protested the university's contract with its food service workers.
Student Max Alper said the goal is to make workers full-time employees with benefits.