Workers on day 5 of striking for better wages and a pension
Whittier, CA: Dining hall workers who make and serve the food for the Whittier College campus and community walked out on an indefinite strike Monday for a contract with better wages, benefits and a pension.
Following last week’s wave of strikes by Los Angeles Unified School District teachers and food service workers, dining hall workers at Whittier College are the latest to walk out for the union contract they deserve.
Many of the workers, who are predominantly people of color, earn between $17 and $18 an hour, and many have to work multiple jobs to survive. Some who have worked at Whittier College for decades have no way of retiring with dignity and face housing insecurity.
“After working for 17 years at Whittier College I only make $17 an hour. I had to move my belongings into a storage unit because I cannot afford to rent my own place,” said Daisy Machado, who works for Compass/BAMCO at Whittier College.
“I love serving the students but I am on strike because with what I make now I have to pinch pennies. Having a pension and better wages would be good for me, my family and my coworkers. We are part of the Whittier family and deserve for both Compass/BAMCO and Whittier College to value our work,” said Luis Martinez, who has worked at Whittier College for 15 years.
“I am on strike because I have to work two jobs. With what I earn working 8 months out of the year at Whittier, it is impossible for me to survive. I come here every day and give my best. I feel deeply saddened that the company is refusing to do the same for us,” said Mayra Macias, who has worked for Compass/BAMCO at Whittier College for 17 years.
“It is a huge sacrifice for me to feel like I have to choose between paying my rent or eating a meal. After working at Whittier College for 25 years I should not have to make that kind of choice. I am close to retiring, and have nothing to fall back on,” said Maria Guillen, who works for Compass/BAMCO at Whittier College dining halls.
“It is a human right to be able to provide for your family, and with the wages we are getting right now I have to choose between paying my car insurance or paying my rent. We are not asking for much, only for what is fair.” said Hector Silva, cook for Compass/BAMCO at Whittier College for 6 years.
The dining hall workers are represented by UNITE HERE Local 11 and work for Compass/Bon Appétit Management Company (BAMCO) at Whittier College, BAMCO is a subsidiary of Compass Group, the sixth largest company in the world.
Workers have been without a contract for 8 months, and no raises since 2021. Workers voted to authorize a strike a few weeks ago.
Workers Demand that Prestigious College Pay a Living Wage
Pomona, CA: Following stagnant negotiations with Pomona College, at 6 am this morning, dozens of dining hall workers at Pomona College walked out on strike as Family Weekend begins.
The workers’ primary contract demand is a significant raise to keep pace with the soaring cost of living. The MIT Living Wage Calculator estimates that a living wage for a family of four with two working adults in Los Angeles County is $30.73 an hour. Some dining hall employees, the overwhelmingly majority of whom are people of color, earn $18.00 an hour.
“ I am on strike because I deserve to provide for my family, the same way I care for Pomona’s wonderful students. As a skilled worker at Pomona College, my profession contributes to the health and wellness of the students and the college’s overall success.” said Marie O’Campo, baker of 8 years at Pomona College.
Pomona College has been ranked consistently among the country’s most prestigious colleges and universities. Dining hall workers at similar prestigious universities such as Yale University and Wesleyan College earn more than $30.00 an hour.
Pomona College’s $3 billion endowment is the 7th highest among all U.S. universities and colleges – ahead of Yale and Wesleyan – on a per student basis. Earlier this fall, Pomona opened a $57 million new athletic facility.
“I am striking because I want more for myself and for my family. There are employees that have been working here for 30 years or more and they deserve more. I hope to one day be able to make enough to buy a house,” said Hector Melendrez, who earns $18.00 an hour as a utility worker.
“Pomona College has failed to meet the workers’ demands. They have chosen to take a brave step, and we hope the college will finally listen to their concerns and give them the living wage they deserve,” said Kurt Petersen, co-president of UNITE HERE Local 11
Los Angeles — Stand workers hit it out of the park, win over $13 in raises and guaranteed tips Los Angeles: As the Los Angeles Dodgers begin game two of the MLB division playoffs, concession stadium workers who staff the food and beverage stands at Dodger Stadium voted 98% in favor of ratifying a historic union contract with the concessions giants at the stadium: Compass Group and Levy Restaurants.
Dodger stadium concessions workers voted to strike if needed ahead of this year’s MLB All-Star Game. Following positive negotiations since then, Compass/Levy workers at Dodger Stadium are proud to announce that over 75% of workers will earn more than 30 dollars an hour by the end of their new contract. Some employees—including stand workers, dishwashers, and cooks—will see increases of more than $13 an hour. Workers also won additional pay in recognition of service during COVID-19 and increased funding for their pensions and healthcare.
“This is a historic day for Dodger Stadium workers. As the team goes on to play for the top prize in baseball, the workers who serve the food and pour the drinks have also won. These workers will now earn wages where they can support a family,” said Susan Minato, co-president of UNITE HERE Local 11
“With these new raises, I will finally be able to afford an apartment of my own, instead of sharing a room. This contract will change my life,” said Cheryl Angustain, who has worked four seasons in concessions for Compass/Levy at Dodger Stadium.
“My family and I bleed blue. We are proud to work at Dodger Stadium to give the fans the experience they have come to expect. This new contract makes us feel like champions!,” said Sylvia Sosa, a bartender for Compass/Levy who has worked 46 seasons at Dodger Stadium. Compass Group is the sixth-largest company in the world. Its subsidiary, Levy Restaurants, employs nearly 1,500 food servers, bartenders, suite attendants, cooks and dishwashers at Dodger Stadium.