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Related Events and Communications Concerning Dining Services

April 30, 2013

Letter from President Oxtoby [pdf] to the community announcing that Pomona's dining workers have voted in an NLRB-administered election to be represented by the union UNITE HERE. (Letter en Español [pdf] )

April 25, 2013

Meetings were held with Dining Services staff in all three dining halls to deliver basic information about the approaching NLRB election and to correct misinformation. The script for these meetings [pdf] was carefully written and vetted. (Script en Español [pdf] )

April 18, 2013

Letter from President Oxtoby [pdf]  to the community announcing that the College has come to an agreement with UNITE HERE for an NLRB-administered election to be held on Tuesday, April 30, 2013. (Letter en Español [pdf] )

April 8, 2013

Letter from President David Oxtoby [pdf] regarding the filing of a petition by a local of the union UNITE HERE with the National Labor Relations Board to hold a secret ballot election to determine whether or not dining hall employees wish to be represented by the union. (Letter en Español [pdf] )

January 24, 2013

Response to the Jan. 22 letter [pdf] from Vice President Karen Sisson, which included the College’s offer of neutrality during card collection and the filing of an NLRB petition and again during the 24-48 hours prior to an election.

January 22, 2013

Letter from the “organizing committee of Pomona College dining hall workers” [pdf]  asking for a signed neutrality agreement and “demanding neutrality.”

November 21, 2012

Message from Vice President Karen Sisson regarding the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (CalOSHA) investigation and findings [pdf]

March 21, 2012

Letter from President David Oxtoby [pdf] to the editor of The Student Life regarding the status of the unionization of dining workers at Pomona (Letter en Español [doc] )

February 15, 2012

Letter to the community [pdf] from Vice President Karen Sisson regarding the settlement of National Labor Relations Board claims (Letter en Español [pdf] )

February 14, 2012

Pomona College has settled two unfair labor practice charges filed with the National Labor Relations Board in November. The settlement, which notes that the College does not admit guilt, included removing part of a Dining Hall policy and displaying customary posters confirming the rights of workers to organize. The settlement was accepted by the National Labor Relations Board on February 10, 2012. 

November 28, 2011

National Labor Relations Board considers unfair labor practice charges against Pomona College. Read summary [pdf] of charges, Pomona’s official response and description of NLRB process.

November 7, 2011

Letter to the community [pdf] from Vice President Karen Sisson clarifying policy [pdf] on student interactions with on-duty dining services employees

August 5, 2011

Letter to the community [pdf] from Vice President Karen Sisson regarding a campus protest earlier in the week by Workers for Justice and UNITE HERE. (Letter en Español [pdf] )

June 30, 2011

In recent months, Pomona College and representatives of Workers for Justice had been moving toward an agreement on limited neutrality preceding a secret ballot vote to determine whether the College’s Dining Services staff wished to be represented by a union. During a meeting on June 15, WfJ made it clear that they would not accept anything but full neutrality from the College.

Pomona College announcement regarding meeting [pdf] ; Pomona College announcement regarding meeting en Español [pdf]

April 25, 2011

At a meeting between College administrators and representatives of Workers for Justice, the WFJ representatives offered to agree to a secret ballot election administered by the National Labor Relations Board in return for the College agreeing to strict neutrality, including no one-on-one meetings between management and workers about unionization; no captive audience meetings; no literature from management; neutrality on the part of managers; and no hiring of union consultants.

Two more meetings have been scheduled for May in hopes of coming to an agreement that respects both workers’ and Pomona College’s values.

March 8, 2011

At a meeting of the Dining Services staff, the College announced that, due to the increased number of summer conferences on campus, Dining Services employees have an opportunity to choose whether they would like to become a 12-month College employee or remain in their current nine-month position. Small group information sessions will be held, and written information will be available in English and Spanish. The switch to the 12-month position would occur July 1.

Feb. 11, 2011

At the regular quarterly Dining Services staff meeting, it was announced that the College has a full conference schedule so full-time summer employment will be available to staff members who want to work during the summer. Managers also announced a new scheduling system based on the positions and shifts needed for each meal. The new system will give employees two days off in a row and let each staff member work in only one dining hall.

Feb. 10, 2011

Pomona College administrators offered to meet Feb. 17 or 18 and asked for alternative meeting dates and times from representatives of Workers for Justice, to continue discussions. As of March 23, the College has not received a response.

Jan. 27, 2011

A meeting was held between College administrators and representatives of Workers for Justice. During the meeting, the College confirmed it would not hire an outside consultant to conduct an anti-union campaign and offered to discuss some potential parameters on the administration’s speech during a defined unionization campaign period. Both sides agreed that progress was made.

Jan. 16, 2011

Pomona College dining halls open for the spring semester under direct management of Pomona College Dining Services. The change to self-operation was made to allow the College to improve quality and ensure that management of food services met Pomona’s standards and reflected the College’s values. It followed a 16-month review of the contracted food services model. Jan. 14, 2011, announcement regarding the change of Dining Services to direct management [pdf]

Dec. 2010 - Jan. 2011

Ongoing communication between the College administration and Workers for Justice to schedule a meeting time to discuss how a vote on unionization by dining service staff might be held. College closed between Dec. 23 and Dec. 31.

Dec. 6, 2010

Note [pdf] from Workers for Justice stating they were "ready to meet again to negotiate in good faith."

Sept. 30, 2010

Letter [pdf] from Vice President Karen Sisson to Workers for Justice about the status of negotiations between the College and Workers for Justice. (Spanish version of the letter [pdf] )

Sept. 20, 2010

Meeting between Pomona College administrators, with a lawyer for the College, and representatives of Workers for Justice, who were accompanied by their interpreter and two representatives from UNITE HERE. Prof. Frances Pohl attended as a neutral observer and note-taker.

Sept. 10, 2010

Letter [pdf] from Vice President Karen Sisson to Workers for Justice suggesting alternate meeting times and reiterating the College's willingness to consider alternate proposals for a labor peace agreement. (Spanish version of letter [pdf] )

Sept. 1, 2010

Note [pdf] from Workers for Justice responds to College proposing potential meeting dates.

August 30, 2010

Message [pdf] from President David Oxtoby to the College Community providing an update on the process of potential unionization by Dining Services staff. (Spanish version of message [pdf] )

Aug. 27, 2010

Seven people were hired for Dining Services work, from a temporary employment agency, when the number of Dining Services workers on disability or other leave reached seven (of 72 employees), creating a critical staffing shortage. As regular staff members return from leave, the number of temporary employees being utilized will be reduced.

August 20, 2010

Letter [pdf] from Vice President Karen Sisson to Workers for Justice suggesting a meeting to continue discussions concerning a labor peace agreement. (Spanish version of letter [pdf] )

July 30, 2010

Letter [pdf] from the Workers for Justice to Vice President Karen Sisson rejecting the College's proposed labor peace agreement.

July 21, 2010

Letter [pdf] from Vice President Karen Sisson to Workers for Justice and the College's proposed labor peace agreement [pdf] drafted in hopes of moving the process forward. (Spanish version of letter [pdf] )

June 21, 2010

Letter [pdf] from Vice President Karen Sisson to Workers for Justice about the status of negotiations between the College and Workers for Justice. (Spanish version of letter [pdf] )

May 25, 2010

Letter [pdf] from Workers for Justice to Vice President Sisson about a future meeting.

May 13, 2010

Letter [pdf] from Vice President Karen Sisson to Workers for Justice about the first meeting to discuss a voting process and an offer to meet again.

May 12, 2010

Meeting between Pomona College administrators and representatives from Workers for Justice to discuss potential processes for a vote of Dining Services workers to decide whether to form a union.

April 27, 2010

Letter [pdf] from Vice President Karen Sisson, on behalf of the administration, agreeing to a meeting with representatives of Workers for Justice/Trabajadores Por Justicia to discuss what each party considers a fair process to form a union. (Spanish version of letter [pdf] )

April 23, 2010

Letter [pdf] from Workers for Justice/Trabajadores Por Justicia expressing readiness to meet with Pomona College administrators “to discuss an agreement to establish a fair process to form a union.” (Spanish version of letter [pdf] )

April 19, 2010

Vice President Karen Sisson to Workers for Justice agreeing to a meeting with representative from Workers for Justice but noted that law prohibited discussions from reaching general agreements concerning employees before a union had been certified.

April 12, 2010

Letter to Vice President Karen Sisson from Rolando Araiza and Maria Garcia, as officers of Workers for Justice/Trabajadores Por Justicia, asking for a meeting between College administration and selected members of Dining Services to discuss how to come to a labor peace agreement.

April 7, 2010

Letter from Workers for Justice [pdf] is delivered to Vice President Karen Sisson expressing appreciation for the opportunity to explain to “the entire community the reasons [they] want a union” and their belief that “a productive dialogue is possible between Dining Hall workers and Pomona College.”

April 6, 2010

The Pomona Student Union sponsors a panel discussion on Dining Hall Staff Unionization, which includes Dining Hall staff member Maria Rosaura Garcia, Vice President and Treasurer Karen Sisson, Religion Prof. Jerry Irish, Economics Prof. Fernando Lozano, and Politics Prof. Heather Williams. The conversation, including an extended question and answer period, lasts almost two hours. To see a video of the discussion, please click here.

March 25, 2010

President Oxtoby responds to student petitions supporting Dining Services staff with an open letter [pdf] reiterating that the College is not opposed to unionization and restating the College’s commitment that there will no retaliation for union activity. He also provides some facts about Dining Services operations.

March 24, 2010

Candlelight vigil in support of Dining Services staff and unionization, at Frary Dining Hall and ending at the Carnegie Building.

March 15, 2010

Letter from Workers for Justice [pdf] delivered to President Oxtoby, by a group of Dining Services staff, requesting that Pomona sign a neutrality agreement and accept a card-check unionization process.

March 12, 2010

Ten days after the petition was initially delivered, President Oxtoby sent out another communication to the College community [pdf] to answer questions that have been raised about the College's position on the unionization efforts of Dining Services employees, specifically regarding the card check process. (Message in Spanish [pdf] )

March 11, 2010

The Associated Students of Pomona College (ASPC) released an official Resolution to the student listserv after meeting with concerned students, Dining Services staff and administrators, including President Oxtoby. They stated that their "stance is based in the firm support of the workers in their search for a better way to express their needs within the Pomona College community."

March 8, 2010

Dining Services staff meetings called to update employees on recent operational changes made, based on their feedback at December quarterly meeting, and to assure them that they should feel free to talk about unionization. Pomona College will not allow intimidation or retaliation for such activity.

March 6, 2010

A rally in support of the unionization of Dining Services staff is held on Marston Quadrangle.

March 5, 2010

The Student Life print edition includes an interview with President Oxtoby, quoting him on his support for the principle of secret ballot voting processes and support of an open conversation about unionization.

March 5, 2010

President Oxtoby sends an open reply [pdf] to the letter from Professors Silverman and Tinker Salas, agreeing that the history of the situation confirms the importance of the issues involved, but also pointing out that Dining Services workers were not employees of Pomona College at that time and that important changes have been made in the working conditions of Dining Services staff since then.

March 4, 2010

In an open letter to President Oxtoby [pdf] responding to his March 3 email, Professors Victor Silverman and Miguel Tinker Salas compare the current situation to one that arose in 1999 and argue that the College erred in rejecting a neutrality agreement and the card-check process at that time. They include the text of a letter they wrote to then-President Peter Stanley in 1999, urging him to reverse his position.

March 3, 2010

At a faculty meeting, President Oxtoby explains the College’s position on the issues and promises that there will be no retaliation from the College for union activity and no intimidation of Dining Services workers by the Pomona College administration. He also pledges not to use the secret-ballot process to delay a vote, promising to seek a timely resolution and stating his preference to see any voting process concluded by the end of the spring semester.

March 3, 2010

President Oxtoby responds to the petitions in a letter to Dining Services staff [pdf] distributed by hand and mail. His response is also shared by email with all Pomona College faculty and staff. He notes positive changes in the work environment in Dining Services over the past year and explains the College’s commitment to an open conversation about the issues and a secret ballot as the best way to ensure freedom from intimidation and a well-informed decision. (Letter in Spanish [pdf] )

March 1, 2010

Dining Service staff members, accompanied by students and a few professors, visit the office of President David Oxtoby and hand to him signed petitions [pdf] concerning a unionization effort in Dining Services.