I’ve worked as a cook at Pomona College in Southern California for 6 years. My coworkers and I have been asking the college to agree to a fair and neutral process to let us choose whether or not to join a union, but the college hasn’t agreed yet.
A few weeks ago, some of my coworkers and I filed a complaint with Cal/OSHA about the injuries food service workers have suffered while working at Pomona. UNITE HERE and Workers for Justice have compiled a new report documenting the injuries in Pomona’s dining halls.
Take a look at the facts:
- In 2010, Pomona’s injury rate for food service workers was 195% of the national rate for cafeterias, as explained in the report
- In a UNITE HERE survey of 51 current and former Pomona food service workers, 39 people reported having pain, discomfort, or an injury they believe to be caused by working at Pomona, but only 17 of those reported it to a supervisor.
- 71% of surveyed workers report they have not been trained by managers in the safe use of machinery or equipment, and 73% report they have not been trained by managers on how to avoid getting injured or sick on the job.
Too many of my coworkers have been injured at work. Pomona College must choose a different course. We should feel empowered and protected at work. We should feel like we can report injuries without fear.