For immediate release
October 14, 2016
“This is the Year of the Immigrant Voter,” says Nevada’s Largest Labor Union and Immigrant Organization
Las Vegas, NV – This month, the final Presidential Debate will take place in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Culinary Union, the largest affiliate of UNITE HERE, one of the strongest political forces in the state will be mobilizing workers and immigrant voters to elect politicians who will fight for our families.
Earlier this year, Culinary Union members overwhelmingly voted to endorse State Senator Ruben Kihuen for Congressional District 4, knocked on over 85,000 doors, and volunteered hundreds of hours to ensure his solid victory in the primary. “Ruben has always stood in solidarity with Culinary Union members and has fought to protect workers’ rights for years,” said Cristina Aguilar, a hostess at Circus-Circus Las Vegas who took a leave of absence from her job to work with the Culinary Union’s political team this election cycle. “We look forward to having Ruben continue advocating for our families as a Congressman from Nevada.”
This November, Nevada has the opportunity to elect the first Latina to the U.S. Senate, and the time has come to break yet another barrier for Latinos in this country. “Catherine Cortez-Masto is a hard-working Nevadan who will deliver results in Washington and fight for our loved ones,” said Geoconda Arguello-Kline, Secretary-Treasurer of the Culinary Union. “Catherine will continue the legacy and work that Senator Harry Reid has done to help our families in this state.”
The Culinary Union and UNITE HERE, the national hospitality workers union, has also endorsed and promised to deliver Nevada for Hillary Clinton. “Healthcare is a vital issue for our 270,000 members and the hundreds of thousands of family members they support,” said D. Taylor, President of UNITE HERE. “Hillary Clinton is committed to working with the new Congress to fix the Affordable Care Act, keeping what works and fixing what doesn’t. The fixes start with putting the word “affordable” back into the ACA by eliminating the 40% health benefits tax and stopping Paul Ryan’s plan to tax health benefits. We did not have to ask Hillary Clinton to take this position – it is a true reflection of her decades-long commitment to affordable health care for working families.”
The Culinary Union has spent the last year building internal power and strength by registering over 8,000 voters to vote and helped over 2,200 of its members to become American citizens this year. The Culinary Union’s comprehensive political organizing program is the largest political effort in the state, which includes 150 members who are taking a leave of absence from their regular jobs to talk to their co-workers everyday by phone, in employee dining rooms on the Las Vegas Strip and in Downtown Las Vegas, and on the doors in neighborhoods in Reno and Las Vegas – a field program unmatched by any other in the country.
The Culinary Union’s political team in six weeks has knocked on over 130,000 doors and had one-on-on conversations with 31,000 voters across Nevada. The Culinary Union has also worked with the Las Vegas Strip properties to ensure that thousands of workers will be able to participate in early voting during their lunch break at the nearby early vote Strip site with an organized bus program.
During the week of the Presidential Debate: Workers who want their boss, Donald Trump, to negotiate a contract with them will picket and rally at Trump Hotel Las Vegas. Culinary Union members will watch the final Presidential Debate, launch a massive early vote campaign, and participate in the Las Vegas Pride Parade. Shift workers and the leader of the Culinary Union, Geoconda Arguello-Kline, will be available for interviews in English and Spanish. To attend any of the events below or to schedule interviews, please contact Bethany Khan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Tuesday, October 18, 2016:
11:30am: Forum with Trump Hotel workers at the Culinary Union
(1630 South Commerce Street Las Vegas, NV 89102).
What is it really like to work for Mr. Trump? Workers from Trump Hotel Las Vegas and Trump Taj Mahal will share their stories and what they are fighting for.
*Trump Hotel Workers Speak Out Against Donald Trump (video): https://youtu.be/niUXUx1hD4E
5pm: #BoycottTrump picket line at the Trump Hotel Las Vegas (2000 Fashion Show Drive Las Vegas, NV 89109).
Workers will be picketing before and after their shifts in front of their hotel where they are fighting for a contract which would provide for fair wages, job security, and good health benefits.
Mr. Trump, the 50% co-owner of the property is legally required to negotiate with the Culinary Union after the National Labor Relations Board certified the union election earlier this year. Because Mr. Trump’s company has refused to bargain, the Culinary Union and UNITE HERE has called for a national #BoycottTrump of Trump hotels of businesses Donald J. Trump owns, has invested in, or has partnered with until the Trump Hotel Las Vegas honors its legal duty to bargain with the union. The national boycott is supported by the AFL-CIO.
- Wednesday, October 19, 2016:
10-11:30am: Build a wall at Trump Hotel Las Vegas with taco trucks (2000 Fashion Show Drive Las Vegas, NV 89109).
Trump Hotel Las Vegas workers and local community partners (American Bridge, America’s Voice, Battle Born Progress, Center for Community Change Action, Forward, For Our Future, iAmerica Action, Latino Victory Project, Next Gen Climate Nevada, the Nevada State AFL-CIO, the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada Action Fund, Planned Parenthood Votes, Mi Familia Vota, Move On, and She Wins We Win) will build a wall to symbolically block hate. There will be a rally of 400 expected workers and community members in front of the property and taco trucks which will be providing free tacos to those in attendance.
*Workers to Mr. Trump: Start Here (video): https://youtu.be/qMXgVoL45Hc
6pm: Debate watch party (Culinary Union).
Hundreds of immigrant workers and volunteers to attend. Trump Hotel Las Vegas workers and political organizers will be available for interviews.
- Thursday, October 20, 2016:
10am: Post-debate press conference with Trump workers (Culinary Union)
Trump Hotel Las Vegas workers and local community partners will respond with thoughts on the debate.
11am: Culinary Union political team prepares for early vote launch.
Over a hundred workers will canvass and are available to ride along with and interview before they leave for a day out in the neighborhoods of Las Vegas.
- Friday, October 21, 2016:
6pm: Las Vegas Pride Parade (Meet at the Culinary Union).
Hundreds of volunteers, LGBT workers, and allies to participate in annual Pride Parade in Downtown Las Vegas. The Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada and She Wins We Win will also be marching with the Culinary Union.
- Saturday, October 22, 2016:
9am: First day of early vote (Culinary Union).
Culinary Union’s political team will be participating in a massive get-out-the-vote effort in the neighborhoods and casinos so that workers turnout to the Early Vote site location nearby the Las Vegas Strip.
Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165, Nevada affiliates of UNITE HERE, represent over 57,000 workers in Las Vegas and Reno, including at most of casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip and in Downtown Las Vegas. UNITE HERE represents 270,000 workers in gaming, hotel, and food service industries in North America.
The Culinary Union is Nevada’s largest immigrant organization with over 57,000 members – a diverse membership that is approximately 55% women and 56% Latino. Members -who work as guest room attendants, bartenders, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, and kitchen workers- come from 167 countries and speak over 40 different languages. The Culinary Union has been fighting for fair wages, job security, and good health benefits for working men and women in Nevada for over 80 years.
The Culinary Union is encouraging Nevada locals, political candidates, and tourists to avoid staying at/or patronizing hotels under an active labor dispute such as Station Casinos, Palms Casino Resort, and the Trump Hotel Las Vegas. To see the full list properties with an active labor dispute, go to: VegasTravelAlert.org.