Author Archives for Ann Kammerer

UNITE HERE Remembers and Honors those Lost on September 11

September 11, 2022 12:00 am Published by Leave a comment

commemOn the anniversary of September 11, 2001, UNITE HERE remembers all those who lost their lives on that tragic day. We hold especially close the memory of our 43 sisters and brothers from UNITE HERE Local 100 who died while working at Windows on the World, a restaurant located at the top of the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

In memory of our fallen brothers and sisters at Windows on the World:

  • Sophia Buruwa Addo
  • Shabbir Ahmed
  • Antonio J. Alvarez
  • Telmo Alvear
  • Manuel O. Asitimbay
  • Samuel Ayala
  • Ivhan Luis Carpio Bautista
  • Jesus Cabezas
  • Manuel Gregorio Chavez
  • Mohammed S. Chowdhury
  • Jose De Pena
  • Nancy Diaz
  • Henry Fernandez
  • Lucille Virgen Francis
  • Enrique A. Gomez
  • Jose B. Gomez
  • Wilder Gomez
  • Ysidro Hidalgo Tejada
  • John Holland
  • Francois Jean-Pierre
  • Eliezer Jimenez Jr.
  • Abdoulaye Kone
  • Victor Kwarkye
  • Jeffrey Latouche
  • Lebardo Lopez
  • Jan Maciejewski
  • Manuel Mejia
  • Antonio Melendez
  • Nana Akwasi Minkah
  • Martin Morales
  • Blanca Morocho
  • Jerome Nedd
  • Juan Nieves Jr.
  • Jose R. Nunez
  • Isidro Ottenwalder
  • Jesus Ovalles
  • Victor Paz Gutierrez
  • Alejo Perez
  • Moises Rivas
  • David B. Rodriguez Vargas
  • Gilbert Ruiz
  • Juan Salas
  • Abdoul Karim Traore

The families and coworkers of those mostly immigrant workers talk about their loss, their dreams, and their challenges in the movie “Windows.”

Hilton Metrotown Workers Win Contract Ending B.C.’s Longest Hotel Lockout

May 16, 2022 11:54 am Published by Leave a comment

97 Terminated Staff Win Right to Return to Jobs

Burnaby, B.C. — Hilton Metrotown hotel workers locked out since April 15, 2021, voted May 11, 2022, to ratify a new contract by a 98% yes vote. The vote to approve this groundbreaking three-year collective bargaining agreement ends the picket line outside of the hotel and returns staff to their jobs. The 391-day lockout at Hilton Metrotown has been the longest hotel lockout in B.C.’s history.

Hilton Metrotown workers won full recall rights for 97 terminated workers without loss of seniority or wages. Reinstating workers who lost their jobs during the pandemic was a top issue during the labour dispute. The new agreement preserves housekeeping jobs and restores daily room cleaning which will help ensure safer workloads and improve guest experience. Other achievements include wage increases plus a special bonus, protection of union health and pension benefits, new protection for gratuities, and stronger recall protections for the future. The new collective agreement expires on May 31, 2025.

Liza Secretaria, a night auditor and union bargaining committee member from Hilton Metrotown: “I feel so proud of myself and my co-workers. We went through so much together during the lockout and the pandemic, but we’re stronger than ever now that we have fought for our co-workers to return and won a fair contract. Thank you to everyone who supported us. I am very excited to return to my job and serve guests again. We have shown Hilton Metrotown and other hotels in B.C. that hotel workers will stand up for respect and justice to raise standards in the industry.”

Sergio Moyer, Guest Services Lead and union bargaining committee member from Hilton Metrotown: “I’m so proud of the solidarity of our members, the community, and the labour movement for their support and strength in achieving this win. We’re ready to return to the Hilton Metrotown to do what we do best: serving our guests. Today marks a monumental day for our union as we’ve been fighting on the picket line for 391 days straight. We are overjoyed with the response to the ratification and results.”

Zailda Chan, President of UNITE HERE Local 40: “Hilton Metrotown workers stayed united on the picket line for over a year, truly exemplifying the meaning of solidarity. This was a hard-fought victory and the new contract sets us on a positive path with the hotel. Workers mobilized massive community support to boycott the hotel and sent a strong message to the hospitality industry that no worker should be treated like they’re disposable.”

Across B.C., workers represented by UNITE HERE Local 40 have won the right to return to their pre-pandemic jobs. With a settlement secured at Hilton Metrotown, the Pacific Gateway Hotel remains an outlier. Local 40 will hold a rally to mark the one-year long strike at Pacific Gateway Hotel on May 12, 2022. Pacific Gateway terminated 70% of its workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic and demanded drastic rollbacks similar to what workers fought back at Hilton Metrotown.

Contact: Stephanie Fung, 604-928-7356, sfung@unitehere40.com

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UNITE HERE Local 40 is the hospitality workers’ union and represents members in the hotel, food service and airport industries throughout British Columbia. Learn more at uniteherelocal40.org.

Statement from Enrique Fernández, UNITE HERE Vice President of Immigration, Diversity, and Civil Rights on President Biden’s Announcement to end Title 42

April 8, 2022 4:43 pm Published by Leave a comment

“We applaud President Biden’s plan to end Title 42.  It is necessary. This Trump-era policy has caused direct harm and abuse to asylum seekers at the US-Mexico border. All asylum seekers deserve to be treated with dignity, humanity, and respect. To that end, we look with urgency towards May 23, 2022, when the Department of Homeland Security has announced an end to the program.”

—Enrique Fernández, UNITE HERE Vice President of Immigration, Diversity, and Civil Rights

2022 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Commemoration

March 25, 2022 1:07 am Published by Leave a comment

1March 25, 2022, is the 111th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in New York’s Greenwich Village. This tragedy took the lives of 146 young immigrant garment workers and galvanized a reform movement to raise standards for workers.

Most years, UNITE HERE staff and members gather at the union headquarters in New York to remember the victims with a reading of their names and testimony from one of the survivors. UNITE HERE’s New York headquarters is closed this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. We offer these historic resources instead to commemorate the 146 immigrant workers whose sacrifices led to safer workplaces. May their memories be for a blessing.

To learn more about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, visit Cornell University’s Kheel Center.

This incident has had great significance to this day because it highlights the inhumane working conditions to which industrial workers can be subjected. To many, its horrors epitomize the extremes of industrialism.

“It is by remembering our past that we prepare to fight for our future. We are measured by how we protect the most vulnerable and ensure their health and safety to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, that is our guiding light.”

—D. Taylor, President, UNITE HERE

The tragedy still dwells in the collective memory of the nation and of the international labor movement. The victims of the tragedy are still celebrated as martyrs at the hands of industrial greed.

The fire at the Triangle Waist Company in New York City is one of the worst disasters since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. The Asch Building was one of the new “fireproof” buildings, but the blaze on March 25th was not their first. It was also not the only unsafe building in the city.

triangle2
On the corner of Greene Street and Washington Place, fire fighters struggle to save workers and control the blaze. The tallest fire truck ladders reached only to the sixth floor, 30 feet below those standing on window ledges waiting for rescue. Many men and women jumped from the windows to their deaths. Photographer: unknown, March 25, 1911.

triangle3

An officer stands at the Asch Building’s 9th floor window after the Triangle Fire. Sewing machines, drive shafts, and other wreckage of the factory fire are piled in the center of the room. Photographer: Brown Brothers, 1911.

triangle4

In the April 5th funeral procession for the seven unidentified fire victims, members of the United Hebrew Trades of New York and the Ladies Waist and Dressmakers Union Local 25, International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union, the local that organized Triangle Waist Company workers, carry banners proclaiming “We Mourn Our Loss.” Photographer: unknown, April 5, 1911.

 

 

triangle5The Triangle Fire Memorial to the six unidentified victims in the Evergreens Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY, was created in 1912 by Evelyn Beatrice Longman. The six bodies were all recently identified by Michael Hirsch, who worked tirelessly to recognize the names of the unidentified victims.

The victims names:

• Lizzie Adler, 24
• Anna Altman, 16
• Annina Ardito, 25
• Rose Bassino, 31
• Vincenza Benanti, 22
• Yetta Berger, 18
• Essie Bernstein, 19
• Jacob Bernstein, 38
• Morris Bernstein, 19
• Vincenza Billota, 16
• Abraham Binowitz, 30
• Gussie Birman, 22
• Rosie Brenman, 23
• Sarah Brenman, 17
• Ida Brodsky, 15
• Sarah Brodsky, 21
• Ada Brucks, 18
• Laura Brunetti, 17
• Josephine Cammarata, 17
• Francesca Caputo, 17
• Josephine Carlisi, 31
• Albina Caruso, 20
• Annie Ciminello, 36
• Rosina Cirrito, 18
• Anna Cohen, 25
• Annie Colletti, 30
• Sarah Cooper, 16
• Michelina Cordiano, 25
• Bessie Dashefsky, 25
• Josie Del Castillo, 21
• Clara Dockman, 19
• Kalman Donick, 24
• Nettie Driansky, 21
• Celia Eisenberg, 17
• Dora Evans, 18
• Rebecca Feibisch, 20
• Yetta Fichtenholtz, 18
• Daisy Lopez Fitze, 26
• Mary Floresta, 26
• Max Florin, 23
• Jenne Franco, 16
• Rose Friedman, 18
• Diana Gerjuoy, 18
• Molly Gerstein, 17
• Catherine Giannattasio, 22
• Celia Gitlin, 17
• Esther Goldstein, 20
• Lena Goldstein, 22
• Mary Goldstein, 18
• Yetta Goldstein, 20
• Rosie Grasso, 16
• Bertha Greb, 25
• Rachel Grossman, 18
• Mary Herman, 40
• Esther Hochfeld, 21
• Fannie Hollander, 18
• Pauline Horowitz, 19
• Ida Jukofsky, 19
• Ida Kanowitz, 18
• Tessie Kaplan, 18
• Beckie Kessler, 19
• Jacob Klein, 23
• Beckie Koppelman, 16
• Bertha Kula, 19
• Tillie Kupferschmidt, 16
• Benjamin Kurtz, 19
• Annie L’Abbate, 16
• Fannie Lansner, 21
• Maria Giuseppa Lauletti, 33
• Jennie Lederman, 21
• Max Lehrer, 18
• Sam Lehrer, 19
• Kate Leone, 14
• Mary Leventhal, 22
• Jennie Levin, 19
• Pauline Levine, 19
• Nettie Liebowitz, 23
• Rose Liermark, 19
• Bettina Maiale, 18
• Frances Maiale, 21
• Catherine Maltese, 39
• Lucia Maltese, 20
• Rosaria Maltese, 14
• Maria Manaria, 27
• Rose Mankofsky, 22
• Rose Mehl, 15
• Yetta Meyers, 19
• Gaetana Midolo, 16
• Annie Miller, 16
• Beckie Neubauer, 19
• Annie Nicholas, 18
• Michelina Nicolosi, 21
• Sadie Nussbaum, 18
• Julia Oberstein, 19
• Rose Oringer, 19
• Beckie Ostrovsky, 20
• Annie Pack, 18
• Provindenza Panno, 43
• Antonietta Pasqualicchio, 16
• Ida Pearl, 20
• Jennie Pildescu, 18
• Vincenza Pinelli, 30
• Emilia Prato, 21
• Concetta Prestifilippo, 22
• Beckie Reines, 18
• Louis Rosen (Loeb), 33
• Fannie Rosen, 21
• Israel Rosen, 17
• Julia Rosen, 35
• Yetta Rosenbaum, 22
• Jennie Rosenberg, 21
• Gussie Rosenfeld, 22
• Emma Rothstein, 22
• Theodore Rotner, 22
• Sarah Sabasowitz, 17
• Santina Salemi, 24
• Sarafina Saracino, 25
• Teresina Saracino, 20
• Gussie Schiffman, 18
• Theresa Schmidt, 32
• Ethel Schneider, 20
• Violet Schochet, 21
• Golda Schpunt, 19
• Margaret Schwartz, 24
• Jacob Seltzer, 33
• Rosie Shapiro, 17
• Ben Sklover, 25
• Rose Sorkin, 18
• Annie Starr, 30
• Jennie Stein, 18
• Jennie Stellino, 16
• Jennie Stiglitz, 22
• Sam Taback, 20
• Clotilde Terranova, 22
• Isabella Tortorelli, 17
• Meyer Utal, 23
• Catherine Uzzo, 22
• Frieda Velakofsky, 20
• Bessie Viviano, 15
• Rosie Weiner, 20
• Sarah Weintraub, 17
• Tessie Weisner, 21
• Dora Welfowitz, 21
• Bertha Wendroff, 18
• Joseph Wilson, 22
• Sonia Wisotsky, 17

UNITE HERE Remembers and Honors those Lost on September 11

September 10, 2021 2:37 am Published by Leave a comment

commemOn this 20th anniversary of September 11, 2001, UNITE HERE remembers all those who lost their lives on that tragic day. We hold especially close the memory of our 43 sisters and brothers from UNITE HERE Local 100 who died while working at Windows on the World, a restaurant located at the top of the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

In memory of our fallen brothers and sisters at Windows on the World:

  • Sophia Buruwa Addo
  • Shabbir Ahmed
  • Antonio J. Alvarez
  • Telmo Alvear
  • Manuel O. Asitimbay
  • Samuel Ayala
  • Ivhan Luis Carpio Bautista
  • Jesus Cabezas
  • Manuel Gregorio Chavez
  • Mohammed S. Chowdhury
  • Jose De Pena
  • Nancy Diaz
  • Henry Fernandez
  • Lucille Virgen Francis
  • Enrique A. Gomez
  • Jose B. Gomez
  • Wilder Gomez
  • Ysidro Hidalgo Tejada
  • John Holland
  • Francois Jean-Pierre
  • Eliezer Jimenez Jr.
  • Abdoulaye Kone
  • Victor Kwarkye
  • Jeffrey Latouche
  • Lebardo Lopez
  • Jan Maciejewski
  • Manuel Mejia
  • Antonio Melendez
  • Nana Akwasi Minkah
  • Martin Morales
  • Blanca Morocho
  • Jerome Nedd
  • Juan Nieves Jr.
  • Jose R. Nunez
  • Isidro Ottenwalder
  • Jesus Ovalles
  • Victor Paz Gutierrez
  • Alejo Perez
  • Moises Rivas
  • David B. Rodriguez Vargas
  • Gilbert Ruiz
  • Juan Salas
  • Abdoul Karim Traore

The families and coworkers of those mostly immigrant workers talk about their loss, their dreams, and their challenges in the video “Windows,” also available in Spanish.

 

2021 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Commemoration

March 25, 2021 12:19 am Published by Leave a comment

1March 25, 2021, is the 110th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in New York’s Greenwich Village. This tragedy took the lives of 146 young immigrant garment workers and galvanized a reform movement to raise standards for workers.

Most years, UNITE HERE staff and members gather at the union headquarters in New York to remember the victims with a reading of their names and testimony from one of the survivors. UNITE HERE’s New York headquarters is closed this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. We offer these historic resources instead to commemorate the 146 immigrant workers whose sacrifices led to safer workplaces. May their memories be for a blessing.

To learn more about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, visit Cornell University’s Kheel Center.

This incident has had great significance to this day because it highlights the inhumane working conditions to which industrial workers can be subjected. To many, its horrors epitomize the extremes of industrialism.

“It is by remembering our past that we prepare to fight for our future. We are measured by how we protect the most vulnerable and ensure their health and safety to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, that is our guiding light.”

—D. Taylor, President, UNITE HERE

The tragedy still dwells in the collective memory of the nation and of the international labor movement. The victims of the tragedy are still celebrated as martyrs at the hands of industrial greed.

The fire at the Triangle Waist Company in New York City is one of the worst disasters since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. The Asch Building was one of the new “fireproof” buildings, but the blaze on March 25th was not their first. It was also not the only unsafe building in the city.

triangle2
On the corner of Greene Street and Washington Place, fire fighters struggle to save workers and control the blaze. The tallest fire truck ladders reached only to the sixth floor, 30 feet below those standing on window ledges waiting for rescue. Many men and women jumped from the windows to their deaths. Photographer: unknown, March 25, 1911.

triangle3

An officer stands at the Asch Building’s 9th floor window after the Triangle Fire. Sewing machines, drive shafts, and other wreckage of the factory fire are piled in the center of the room. Photographer: Brown Brothers, 1911.

triangle4

In the April 5th funeral procession for the seven unidentified fire victims, members of the United Hebrew Trades of New York and the Ladies Waist and Dressmakers Union Local 25, International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union, the local that organized Triangle Waist Company workers, carry banners proclaiming “We Mourn Our Loss.” Photographer: unknown, April 5, 1911.

triangle5

The Triangle Fire Memorial to the six unidentified victims in the Evergreens Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY, was created in 1912 by Evelyn Beatrice Longman. The six bodies were all recently identified by Michael Hirsch, who worked tirelessly to recognize the names of the unidentified victims.

The victims names:

• Lizzie Adler, 24
• Anna Altman, 16
• Annina Ardito, 25
• Rose Bassino, 31
• Vincenza Benanti, 22
• Yetta Berger, 18
• Essie Bernstein, 19
• Jacob Bernstein, 38
• Morris Bernstein, 19
• Vincenza Billota, 16
• Abraham Binowitz, 30
• Gussie Birman, 22
• Rosie Brenman, 23
• Sarah Brenman, 17
• Ida Brodsky, 15
• Sarah Brodsky, 21
• Ada Brucks, 18
• Laura Brunetti, 17
• Josephine Cammarata, 17
• Francesca Caputo, 17
• Josephine Carlisi, 31
• Albina Caruso, 20
• Annie Ciminello, 36
• Rosina Cirrito, 18
• Anna Cohen, 25
• Annie Colletti, 30
• Sarah Cooper, 16
• Michelina Cordiano, 25
• Bessie Dashefsky, 25
• Josie Del Castillo, 21
• Clara Dockman, 19
• Kalman Donick, 24
• Nettie Driansky, 21
• Celia Eisenberg, 17
• Dora Evans, 18
• Rebecca Feibisch, 20
• Yetta Fichtenholtz, 18
• Daisy Lopez Fitze, 26
• Mary Floresta, 26
• Max Florin, 23
• Jenne Franco, 16
• Rose Friedman, 18
• Diana Gerjuoy, 18
• Molly Gerstein, 17
• Catherine Giannattasio, 22
• Celia Gitlin, 17
• Esther Goldstein, 20
• Lena Goldstein, 22
• Mary Goldstein, 18
• Yetta Goldstein, 20
• Rosie Grasso, 16
• Bertha Greb, 25
• Rachel Grossman, 18
• Mary Herman, 40
• Esther Hochfeld, 21
• Fannie Hollander, 18
• Pauline Horowitz, 19
• Ida Jukofsky, 19
• Ida Kanowitz, 18
• Tessie Kaplan, 18
• Beckie Kessler, 19
• Jacob Klein, 23
• Beckie Koppelman, 16
• Bertha Kula, 19
• Tillie Kupferschmidt, 16
• Benjamin Kurtz, 19
• Annie L’Abbate, 16
• Fannie Lansner, 21
• Maria Giuseppa Lauletti, 33
• Jennie Lederman, 21
• Max Lehrer, 18
• Sam Lehrer, 19
• Kate Leone, 14
• Mary Leventhal, 22
• Jennie Levin, 19
• Pauline Levine, 19
• Nettie Liebowitz, 23
• Rose Liermark, 19
• Bettina Maiale, 18
• Frances Maiale, 21
• Catherine Maltese, 39
• Lucia Maltese, 20
• Rosaria Maltese, 14
• Maria Manaria, 27
• Rose Mankofsky, 22
• Rose Mehl, 15
• Yetta Meyers, 19
• Gaetana Midolo, 16
• Annie Miller, 16
• Beckie Neubauer, 19
• Annie Nicholas, 18
• Michelina Nicolosi, 21
• Sadie Nussbaum, 18
• Julia Oberstein, 19
• Rose Oringer, 19
• Beckie Ostrovsky, 20
• Annie Pack, 18
• Provindenza Panno, 43
• Antonietta Pasqualicchio, 16
• Ida Pearl, 20
• Jennie Pildescu, 18
• Vincenza Pinelli, 30
• Emilia Prato, 21
• Concetta Prestifilippo, 22
• Beckie Reines, 18
• Louis Rosen (Loeb), 33
• Fannie Rosen, 21
• Israel Rosen, 17
• Julia Rosen, 35
• Yetta Rosenbaum, 22
• Jennie Rosenberg, 21
• Gussie Rosenfeld, 22
• Emma Rothstein, 22
• Theodore Rotner, 22
• Sarah Sabasowitz, 17
• Santina Salemi, 24
• Sarafina Saracino, 25
• Teresina Saracino, 20
• Gussie Schiffman, 18
• Theresa Schmidt, 32
• Ethel Schneider, 20
• Violet Schochet, 21
• Golda Schpunt, 19
• Margaret Schwartz, 24
• Jacob Seltzer, 33
• Rosie Shapiro, 17
• Ben Sklover, 25
• Rose Sorkin, 18
• Annie Starr, 30
• Jennie Stein, 18
• Jennie Stellino, 16
• Jennie Stiglitz, 22
• Sam Taback, 20
• Clotilde Terranova, 22
• Isabella Tortorelli, 17
• Meyer Utal, 23
• Catherine Uzzo, 22
• Frieda Velakofsky, 20
• Bessie Viviano, 15
• Rosie Weiner, 20
• Sarah Weintraub, 17
• Tessie Weisner, 21
• Dora Welfowitz, 21
• Bertha Wendroff, 18
• Joseph Wilson, 22
• Sonia Wisotsky, 17

Statement from UNITE HERE Vice President of Immigration, Diversity, and Civil Rights Enrique Fernández on House Passage of the American Dream and Promise Act

March 19, 2021 4:56 pm Published by Leave a comment

“We commend the House for passing the American Dream and Promise Act. This is part of long overdue immigration legislation needed for working people and their families. House passage is an important step forward. Now, we look to the Senate to follow suit.

“Immigrant workers are the backbone of the hospitality industry. The American Dream and Promise Act will keep millions of hard-working immigrants together with their families.

“This is a testament to what is possible when working people stand together. UNITE HERE laid-off hospitality workers canvassed in Nevada, Arizona, Florida, and Pennsylvania to elect President Biden and then shifted gears to take back the Senate in the Georgia runoff to ensure that families who have lived and worked in the U.S. for decades no longer need to live in fear of deportation.

“Passing the American Dream and Promise Act is critical in our march to build a pathway to citizenship for millions of DACA recipients and TPS holders. We call on the Senate to pass the American Dream and Promise Act immediately.”

 

Statement from UNITE HERE President D. Taylor on Georgia Shooting

March 17, 2021 7:07 pm Published by Leave a comment

“Yesterday, a horrific act of domestic terrorism took the lives of eight people in Atlanta, Georgia, most of whom were Asian and immigrant women working in the service industry. As the union of hospitality workers whose membership is predominantly women, immigrant, and people of color, we grieve with the families of the victims as well as with the Asian American community in the Greater Atlanta area and across the country in the face of this murderous act.

“But while today we grieve, we are also called to action as a labor movement. We all must acknowledge that these victims were workers, targeted at their place of work—at their low-wage frontline jobs that we demanded remain open throughout most of the pandemic—and that these murders did not happen in isolation, but as part of a rising trend in anti-Asian sentiment and hate crimes committed against the community.

“We must stand in solidarity with all those mourning today, but it cannot end there. To dismantle white supremacy, we must do what the labor movement exists to do—and that is to show up, organize, and build the infrastructure to ensure our siblings and community members are protected.

“We love and support our AAPI siblings, including the many AAPI UNITE HERE members, and we are here for you. The workers that were lost may not have been UNITE HERE members, but they may well have been. We are devasted but we will not stop fighting until we achieve a just society that protects us all.”

UNITE HERE Commends the House on Passage of the For the People Act (H.R. 1), Calls on the Senate to Follow Suit

March 9, 2021 5:48 pm Published by Leave a comment

The hospitality workers’ union, UNITE HERE, commends the House of Representatives on passing the For the People Act (H.R. 1), adding on to the Equality Act and the American Rescue Plan to mark a historic 10 day-span for sweeping legislation moved by our United States Congress.

The right to vote is foundational to advancing and protecting all other rights for workers. Right now, the For The People Act is more vital than ever to safeguarding our Democracy and ensuring that every eligible American has the freedom to vote. In 2020, we saw just how far some are willing to go to put up barriers to silence many of our voices. But we showed how working people can overcome the odds and win—by taking to the streets and talking to voters one-by-one.

In Nevada, Arizona, Florida, and Pennsylvania, and then later in Georgia for the Senate runoff, we knocked on millions of doors and heard firsthand the frustration that so many voters feel about a system rigged against them. By talking with voters at their front doors we cut through the noise and encouraged them to vote despite all the obstacles.

The For The People Act would be a major step toward reducing political corruption, ensuring fair elections, and restoring our faith in democracy. In guaranteeing the freedom to vote for millions of Americans, this sweeping bill is a powerful vehicle for working people to have their voices heard, so that together we can tackle deepening income inequality and rebuild our economy with workers at the center.

 

UNITE HERE applauds reintroduction of the Equality Act

March 3, 2021 1:37 pm Published by Leave a comment

Today, UNITE HERE hospitality workers’ union leadership praised the introduction of the Equality Act in both the House and Senate, a historic sweeping legislation that would expand June 2020’s Supreme Court ruling that protects LGBTQ workers from job discrimination into other areas where LGBTQ people still face legal discrimination today.

UNITE HERE International Union President D. Taylor:

“The introduction of the Equality Act in the House and Senate this week is an example of the kind of leadership workers and families have been wanting to see from our national lawmakers for a while now. It is one reason why thousands of laid-off UNITE HERE hospitality workers—housekeepers, cooks, dishwashers—fought so hard to win back the White House in November and carried that fight into victory in the Georgia Senate runoff to take back the Senate for Democrats, too. Such sweeping, historic legislation will change the lives of so many LGBTQ people and families and is a real step towards achieving a fair and equal playing field for all working people.”

UNITE HERE Community and Political Coordinator and long-time labor and LGBTQ rights activist, Cleve Jones (Founder of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt):

“While last year’s June 2020 Supreme Court ruling was a critical victory, it only scratched the surface of what was still needed to be won as LGBTQ people continue to face legal discrimination. Now Congress is introducing historic legislation that takes us so much farther. And in this unprecedented moment, the stakes have never been higher. As we start to enter a post-COVID world, we must ensure that the road to recovery includes all—especially our most vulnerable and under attack. That starts with Congress joining us and our siblings across the labor movement in supporting the comprehensive protections for LGBTQ people in the Equality Act.

“For years, UNITE HERE has, through collective bargaining, fought for and won protections for LGBTQ workers on-the-job, including in the deep South in places such as Louisiana, Georgia, Florida, and other conservative jurisdictions where no legal protections had previously existed. Like the protections of a union contract, the historic legislation is thanks to all the workers and activists that have fought hard for years to ensure that their voices be heard.”