Meanwhile, on Feb. 7 a video from Unite Here Local 11 was released on YouTube (tinyurl.com/86tulr3) targeting Pomona College over how it has dealt with dining hall workers who want to unionize.
"The college has been opposed to unionization and opposed to what workers want for the past two years. I think that all of these incidents are connected," said Leigh Shelton, a spokeswoman for Unite Here Local 11, which represents more than 20,000 workers employed in hotels, restaurants and other establishments in Southern California.
According to the complaint, filed by the dining hall workers' organization Workers for Justice, Pomona College dining hall supervisor Cathy Hicks told an employee that he did not get a job promotion because of the union button he wore at work. Hicks told the employee if the button were removed, he would be promoted, according to the complaint.
Another issue in the complaint was that starting in mid-July, Pomona College rules including "non-employees may not interrupt nor visit with employees while they are working" and "if a non-employee wants to visit with an employee during their break or lunch, they must go outside the building."
According to the complaint, Pomona College "has been interfering with, restraining and coercing employees in the exercise of the rights" as set forth in the National Labor Relations Act.
Mark Wood, a spokesman for the college, said the college in November deleted its policy that prevented employees from talking to students.
The college denies the charge involving the manager's comments. The proposed settlement language says the college does not admit any guilt, Wood said.
"We're fine with settling the policy one, and we agreed it was a mistake, but the other one we can't do that because we don't think we've done anything wrong," Wood said.
Wood said the employee policy was meant so workers would not be interrupted by students but was "perceived" as keeping employees from talking to students, so it was changed.
Pomona College signed the agreement in January, Wood said.
Rolando Araiza, 22, a cook at Pomona College, said on Friday he felt that dining hall workers were being targeted for attempted unionization.
As far as the video released on Feb. 7, Wood said it was "very misleading."
"When you look at the image, it looks like people are being fired after being arrested," Wood said. "And that's not what happened. This was a tragedy for all of us. It's hurt the institution. It's something we all regret. I think here we see the problem as being the broken immigration system that doesn't give employers any options in a situation like that."
A protest is scheduled at Pomona College when the board of trustees meets on Feb. 25, Shelton said.
"The protests will continue, because the issue is not over," Shelton said.
Contact Wes via email or by phone at 909-483-8549.