Yolanda Jimenez – Pacific Coast Producers (Local 856)

The union is us

For 16 years, Yolanda Jimenez has spent her summer months working in the canning area of Pacific Coast Producers in Woodland. She recently became a supervisor, overseeing the work of 15-20 other workers. “I’ve been there for a long time. Each July, when I go back, it’s like being with your family. Everybody knows you and greets you.”

Yolanda just became a trustee for Local 601 and is excited to learn more about how the union functions. “Most of the people, we don’t know what the union does for us. But I’ve learned that the union is us…and if we can get more involved we can get more help.” That Local has since merged with Local 856.

Yolanda says that her son got sick back in 2006 and was in the hospital. She was having such a hard time getting time off to be with him that she quit her job in frustration. Then, within a few minutes, she changed her mind, but the company wouldn’t let her come back. She ultimately got her job back but lost her seniority. “I didn’t know that the union could help me…and the company doesn’t let you know. The most important benefit of being a union member is that the union has our back so that the company can’t take advantage of us,” Yolanda added. “Without a union, we’d have low pay rates, they’d take us for granted, and we could get fired more easily.”

“The union is the people. And we need to be united. We can do it – all together!”