She’s there for her coworkers and the union is there for her.
Local 1167 helped get Landy Mondragon through her husband’s COVID illness.
Landy Mondragon’s husband almost died from COVID-19. She made it through, thanks in large part to her union.
Mondragon, 46, works as a Service Deli Bakery Lead at Food 4 Less 328 in Rancho Cucamonga. She has been at the store six years and has 25 years of union membership with UFCW Local 1167.
“I’ve only worked for Food 4 Less,” she said. “It’s been my first and only job.”
“It’s been really good to work here,” she added. “I’m able to provide for my family, and the union is a big part of that.”
Mondragon became the steward for her coworkers about two years ago after her union representative recruited her.
“He encouraged me to take on the role after our steward, Bruce, passed away,” she said. “He thought I’d be good at the job.”
“It’s been great,” she continued. “I like to serve as a liaison between the union and the membership. I get to know the members better, learn about things that go on within the union, and communicate that information with my co-workers.”
Working union means job security to Mondragon.
“Your employer can’t fire you without a good reason and the health insurance in our contracts is great,” she said. “The union provides for my family with a good wage. All of it is good.”
The union took on a significant role recently, keeping her affairs in order so she could care for her husband.
“This past November, I was out for a long time because my husband, Joel, had contracted COVID,” she said.
“I got COVID first, at work, and then he got it from me. I had mild symptoms, but Joel was in the hospital for a month. He was losing oxygen and I took him to urgent care and he was put in the hospital right away.
“It was so scary. We almost lost him. It’s a miracle he’s still alive, thanks to all the prayers from everybody. He’s doing a lot better now.”
Throughout Joel’s illness, “my focus was on taking care of him and I had no clue what to do,” she continued. “My rep and the union office kept me informed and answered questions. They helped me with paperwork to make sure I wouldn’t lose my insurance or membership status.”
“The union is us,” she said. “It is so important we go to meetings and get involved.
“Our representatives and union leaders can only do so much. We’re the ones who have the power to make the change. We are the union!”
In her spare time she likes to “come home and rest!” she said with a laugh. “I also like to cook and make dinner, because family is the most important thing to me.”
Landy and Joel, who works in landscaping, have been married 30 years. She has an adult son, also named Joel, who is a sheriff’s deputy, and a daughter, Jasmine, who works in retail.
Whenever possible, Landy enjoys playing with their 2-year-old grandson, Isaac. “I babysit him and he’s a lot of fun,” she said. “He goes around everywhere and cannot stay still, so I’m right behind his back 24/7. It’s playtime all the time.”
At home and at work, she reminds everyone to “keep their guard up” against the coronavirus.
“I’ve had my vaccine and I do what I can to keep my family and union members safe,” she said. “We have to be safe and take care of each other.
“Even though I’ve had COVID, I still wear a mask, wash my hands frequently and use sanitizer.”