May Day was extra special for me this year. My heart was filled with joy and pride, because it was my first day as a member of UNITE HERE.
Last Tuesday, the dining hall workers of Pomona College said yes to having a union. We had dreamt that the day would come for three years. Words cannot express the power we felt in joining the 20,000 union brothers and sisters from UNITE HERE Local 11, who stood by us throughout our fight.
We overcame a lot of obstacles to get to this point. Most importantly, we transformed ourselves. We developed the courage to take our destiny into our own hands. We stood up and demanded a voice at work.
We could not have done it without the support of hundreds of students, faculty members, and alumni that make up the Pomona College community. They sent letters to the administration, signed pledges and marched with us. Most importantly, they believed in us. That support gave us the strength to stand up and say yes. (Check out Pomona workers' reactions to winning the union).
On May Day, I walked into work with my head held high. Now, I'm ready to do what it takes to win a good union contract. I know that my union brothers and sisters — and the Pomona community — will continue to support us.
For more on Benny and his coworkers' 3-year fight to win a union, visit workersforjustice.org.