March isn’t yet over, but it’s already clear that we can label it a “month of victories” for campus dining hall workers! After months of organizing and determination, workers on three campuses on both the East and West coasts won union recognition, and each of these institutions joins an ever-growing union family. Additionally, they have become part of an increasingly powerful movement working towards a food system in which fresh, healthy food is prepared by workers guaranteed, among other things, fair wages that make sustainable food accessible to them, as well. Here are the highlights:
“In Haiti, we say ‘L’Union fair la force’ — stick together, and you’ve got power.” — cook Andre Lucas
Just one day after presenting a petition signed by hundreds of students, faculty members, staff and alumni to university management, Lesley’s 79 dishwashers, servers, cashiers and cooks won their union recognition. They join a growing movement of food workers across the Boston area.
University of La Verne
“Words cannot describe the tremendous amounts of joy and sense of victory we feel – this is only the beginning of a new and prosperous year, and it’s now only going to get better. ¡Si se pudo!” — cook Eddie Briones
Late last year, we profiled workers at La Verne, who were standing up to create their own sustainable future. Organizing with a vision of a campus food program that would allow them to serve healthy, good food prepared from scratch, workers united with the support of both faculty and students. In the words of cook Prince Jones, workers feel they now have “a fighting chance at a future.”