|Title||Victory at Pomona College: Union Strategy and Immigrant Labor|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2014|
|Journal||Labor Studies Journal|
|Volume||Published online before print December 30, 2014,|
|Keywords||dining hall workers, immigrant, Pomona College, union organizing, UNITE HERE|
Despite the firing of 17 purported undocumented workers and bitter conflicts on campus, Pomona College’s dining hall staff overwhelmingly voted for UNITE HERE Local 11 in spring 2013 and approved a good contract less than a year later. Although a labor victory, the Pomona story, nonetheless, illustrates the obstacles to organizing low-wage immigrant workers at powerful institutions opposed to unionization. Drawing on interviews with labor and community activists, media reports, and the author’s participant observation, this article finds that campus and community support, while critical, could not prevent years of delays and serious acts of intimidation. This campaign had a transformative effect on the workers and their workplace but raises questions about long-term union strategy.