When I started at Yale, my lab had only one point of egress and flammable chemicals were blocking the only way to get out. I didn’t know my co-workers well, but we fought together to have a safe workplace. When we got a second safety door installed to fix the problem, organizers wanted me to become a steward. But I couldn’t do it at the time. My partner and I take care of 5 young children and my elderly mother. But now, I make time to be on the executive board and work as a leader in Local 34.
When we went out on strike in 2003, I saw how Local 35, the community, and the city supported us in our fight. I saw the resilience of my coworkers who stood on the picket line. I saw all these women stand up, fight, and get respect from Yale. After we won, I knew I would always be a union member. As a leader in the union, my children have seen me stand up for other people at rallies. They get a kick out of all the things that I do. It’s not easy to balance everything and I don’t always get it right, but I wouldn’t be able to do it without the help of my family.