On March 1, 2010 dining hall workers at Pomona College delivered petitions—signed by over 90% of their coworkers—requesting the freedom to choose to form a union without intimidation or interference from the college. Three years later, this April 30th, those workers will finally have the opportunity to vote on union recognition.
For workers at Pomona, the road to the vote has not been without its challenges. They have remained strong despite anti-union comments on the part of Pomona president David Oxtoby, successfully fought against a college-instituted gag rule that effectively banned workers from speaking with students in dining halls, and refused to back down even after the college fired 17 workers (16 of them from the dining hall) after an unwarranted immigration investigation. Over the years, the Pomona College community—including professors, students and alumni—have all done their part to stand behind and support the workers in their fight.
In the three years since this campaign began, workers at 18 other college and university cafeterias have won union representation with Unite Here. The workers at Pomona finally have their chance to decide, but there may still be obstacles in their path, as the college administration might hold mandatory meetings about unionization or file objections to the election’s outcome which could potentially delay a final decision for years after the vote.
This decision should be the workers’, and the workers’ alone. Stand with them today by signing a petition to President Oxtoby, and call on Pomona College not to interfere with their election and to abide by the final results of the vote!