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Pomona: Lunching With Love


On Monday, more than 200 clergy, faculty, workers, and students descended on Pomona College for a loving lunch as Pomona dining hall workers prepared for a union election on April 30th.

Attendees wore “The Union = Love” buttons, reminding onlookers that workers were organizing not to pick a fight with Pomona, but to better integrate and cooperate with a community they’ve come to love and appreciate.Friends from unions far and near (UFCW 1428 in Claremont and the National Association of Letter Carriers in Colorado!) joined faith leaders from Pilgrim Place, Claremont students, and newly-unionized workers from the University of La Verne to make supportive posters, enjoy music, and visit the dining halls as students and newly-admitted Claremont applicants and their parents enjoyed lunch.Faculty, students, and clergy spoke at the dining halls about love, justice, and the hard work of Pomona workers, and then left singing ‘All You Need Is Love” and handing out flowers.

At the same time, students and friends made supportive posters (like the ones in the top picture in the newsletter!) during and after an open-air rally blessed by CLUE-LA leader Rev. Gene Boutillier. Read Rev. Gene’s prayer below!

 

Two years before I was born, the United States Congress and the President, with organized labor and many religous leaders creating public support, enacted the National Labor Relations Act -  the Wagner Act.

Next week, the many-times amended grandchild of that law will be enacted on this campus. The purpose of the law, then and now, was economic democacy, and dignity, and respect for the workers; recognition of their right to join together in solidarity to improve the condition of their labor. The deeper purpose was justice, and peace, and civility – and a reasonable path to a better life and a stronger economy for everyone on all sides.

America needed a way out of the tragedies of hired goons,military, and police attacking workers seeking a union and out of the terrible injustices of the powerful beating up on the vulnerable to keep them in an inferior status.

As we prepare for an NLRB-monitored decision by our dear friends – the dining hall workers of Pomona College – we too need a civilized, peaceful atmosphere of respect for the process and freedom from intimidation and harrassment, fear, and abuse of power. May it be so!

Let us now count our blessings and ask for blessings on us all. May the Holy Creator of us all, worshiped by many names and in many ways, bless each of you.

On this Earth Day, may Mother Earth, the source of our life, our air, our water, our food, be celebrated, and protected, and sustained, and loved. We are standing on sacred ground. The food we eat is a blessed sacrament. and my our friendships and our society be blessed.

May Pomona College – and its president, its trustees, its administration, its faculty, and all its workers, students, and alumni be blessed, be healed,  and be united.

May this election be a validation of love and justice.

May the years of struggle here be followed now by years of cooperation and peace and respect – a season of blessing for those food workers, their families, and the whole College community.

Beyond us here, may this be struggle result in a victory for justice, a symbol of progress, an inspiration to other workers elsewhere who seek the courage to face a struggle for respect and for justice and a better, more abundant life for us all.

May the God of Love bless you all. Amen.

 
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