On Cesar Chavez Day, Hundreds Call for Peace at Pomona College
March 30, 2012
Hundreds of workers, students, clergy and community members will take to the streets on Friday, March 30, celebrating the legacy of Cesar Chavez by calling for justice and peace for food service workers organizing a union at Pomona College.
The call for peace comes after a prolonged period of bitter conflict on the prestigious Inland Valley campus. Unprovoked by any federal agency and in the middle of a union organizing drive, Pomona College administration demanded late last year that workers produce documents proving their eligibility to work in the United States. Less than one month later, the college fired 16 dining hall workers. The decision terrorized immigrants and turned Pomona College into a battleground with protests, vigils, boycotts of dining halls and more. Hundreds of alumni have pledged not to donate to Pomona College.
Now, supporters are calling on Pomona College to sign a neutrality pledge, to allow Pomona dining workers to decide among themselves whether they want a union, in an atmosphere free from threats and intimidation.
Relondo Araiza is a dining hall worker who called for a fair process to organize a union.
"All we want is for our voices to be heard,” said Araiza. "Because Pomona is a great college, where ideas matter, and students learn to say what they think, we thought our voices would count, too."
Read news coverage of the event: