La Verne, CA – Last week, Bon Appetit workers at the University of La Verne won union recognition with UNITE HERE Local 11, the union of hospitality and food service workers in the greater Los Angeles area.
Cook Prince Jones remarks, “This victory feels like more than a victory to me, it feels like an opening, an opportunity, a fighting chance at a future. And the fight to get that chance was worth every action, every delegation, and every rally and every meeting. Us winning means volumes to me; my co-workers mean volumes to me – and together ¡si se pudo!”
Catering Captain Eddie Briones, whose mother, brother, and two sisters have all worked in food service at the University of La Verne, shared Jones’ excitement—“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!”
Students and faculty came together to support the workers in their campaign for a voice at work.
Nellie Adalie Ruiz, a senior at the University of La Verne, said, “Winning is a fantastic step forward – it means the world to me that the people I love and consider family have earned respect in the workplace and I know they will continue to work for what they deserve as they head towards negotiating their contract. ¡Si se pudo!”
As John Bartelt, Professor of Education and Technology, said, “this is only the beginning of a long road for them, but it’s an enormous first step toward empowerment.”
Thursday night, University of La Verne food workers joined a growing movement towards unionization among university food service workers, including nearby California Lutheran University and Loyola Marymount University.