Having been around long enough to know all of the different things life can throw at you, one thing Ana Shul has been able to find assurance in is her union. Having been a food service worker at UCSF since 1998, she has seen and been a part of her fair share of unions, and none have shown up for her the way 3299 has. From the moment she UCSF made the switch, 3299 has provided her and her colleagues with full-time positions, the ability to advance in their department, and contracts with accessible language. Ana felt for the first time that she had a union with her best interest at heart. “At 3299, if they’re number one, we have to be number one too!”
The moment that solidified Ana’s dedication to her union was seeing a long-time colleague finally get promoted to head cook. Watching her union sibling use this new position to get more involved and become a leader in their department inspired Ana to do the same.
The support that her union gives never ceases to make Ana emotional. During the last contract negotiation, UCSF members ended up going on strike. Being out on the picket line with her union siblings and seeing the dedication and support not only from members at her own campus, but from those throughout the entire state, is a moment that she will never forget. “We couldn’t have done it without the entire union behind us. We’re like a family, one doesn’t go without the other.”
Ana is a legacy when it comes to this, with both her parents heavily involved in union work and activism throughout their lives, starting their own strikes and supporting significant movements throughout California, from Cesar Chavez’s farmers strike to the community programs of the Black Panther party. These values have been passed down to Ana, her children, and her grandchildren, who can regularly be seen at the picket line with her.
As she looks to the future, Ana’s focus is primarily on education. She believes if the younger generation can understand what her union does and is capable of offering, then they’ll have the tools they need to continue 3299’s work in their own communities.