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Negotiations, Boricua styleNoticias desde la Gastronomica - November 5, 2009
Despite the fact that the union and management are still far from an agreement and that a strike is very possible, a joyous atmosphere characterized the workers' mood at the latest contract negotiating session on October 15th at the ILA building. That was because at every break in the negotiations, Local 610 members spontaneously broke into enthusiastic singing, and dancing in an inspiring exhibition of unity, courage, and hope for a better future.
At every opportunity, Negotiating Committee members Maria "Angie" Silva Colon (El San Juan) and Juan Vega (Condado Plaza), and many other musically talented workers, some playing tambourines, drums and other instruments, took the microphone and started serenading their fellow union members, and management, with improvised songs about the negotiations, the contract fight, and the justice of the union's demands.
"In all my years negotiating contracts, I've never been so inspired by the spirit of the people I represented," said Local 6 negotiator, attorney Rich Maroko. He added, "I don't know how anybody on management's side can possibly have the heart to fight people like this."
"We wanted our managers to understand we're not afraid, and we are united in our hearts," said Juan.
"I just wanted to sing, because I'm so happy and excited that we're all standing together, and the abuse and disrespect is finally going to end," said Angie.