On July 20, the 70 food service workers at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, CA ratified their first union contract! The workers joined UNITE HERE Local 2850 in March 2013. The contract will reduce workers’ contributions for health insurance by half. It also includes yearly raises, seniority, a stronger policy against sexual harassment, and protections for immigrant workers.
"By organizing the union I have learned that we have rights, and those rights are now guaranteed in our new contract," said Shameka "Mimi" Brown, a four-year cook whose grandfather also worked at St. Mary’s. "I think my grandfather would be proud of us for organizing the union. He was not someone who let people disrespect him."
"Seeing worker leaders be so strong, articulate and confident during bargaining made me feel so proud of all the organizing that we did together this past year – their transformation is what the union really means," said Lluvia Carrasco, a second-year sociology major at St. Mary’s.