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A Year after Firings, Pomona Food Workers are Stronger than Ever

December 14, 2012

On December 10, Pomona food workers, students, and clergy led a delegation to the Pomona administration a year after the College fired 17 immigrant workers. Sixteen of the fired employees worked in the dining halls, where they had been organizing to form a union since 2010. The firings came as a result of a campus-wide document check that was not prompted by any federal agency or law.

Now, dining hall workers at Pomona are again taking the brave step of standing up in spite of the fearful climate caused by the investigation and firings.

Rolando Araiza, a cook at Pomona for 7 years, says “What happened at Pomona in December was really an injustice and it’s one of the reasons why I’m still fighting. It really changed the way I feel about the administration because I really thought we were a family. But when you fire someone unjustly, that’s not what family does to a family.”

Dining Hall workers at Pomona started organizing because they want to be treated with respect and dignity and they want to work in an environment where they don’t need to be afraid. That’s why they are again standing up and demanding a fair process to choose to unionize. Since they started organizing in 2010, workers have been given raises, year-round work, and lower health insurance premiums, but they won’t stop fighting until they’ve won a fair process to organize.

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