Author Archives for Ann Kammerer

Statement from UNITE HERE Vice President of Immigration, Diversity, and Civil Rights Enrique Fernández on the SECURE Act

February 8, 2021 5:24 pm Published by Leave a comment

“We congratulate Senator Van Hollen on the introduction of the SECURE Act in the Senate, which would allow over 400,000 workers with Temporary Protected Status to apply for legal permanent residency. Many of these people have been here for decades, work hard, pay taxes, raise U.S. citizen children, and provide essential services to our country. We should offer them an opportunity to become full citizens of our country.

“UNITE HERE calls on other Senators to quickly sponsor and pass this legislation.”

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

Statement of the UNITE HERE Black Leadership Group & UNITE HERE Philly on the Killing of Walter Wallace Jr.

October 28, 2020 11:34 am Published by Leave a comment

Once again we see the senseless killing of a black man at the hands of police. Walter Wallace Jr. should be alive today, his life mattered. We mourn with his family and our community over his death.

Over the past month we have been talking to Philadelphia residents from every area of our city. Systematic racism is a problem in every neighborhood in Philadelphia and across our country.

This must stop and we are not going to stop pushing for equality and justice until there is equality and justice for all.

In this election, we are fighting for our lives.

When George Floyd was murdered four months ago we asked you to hear our cry.

Our wounds never get the chance to heal. 

Yesterday as we canvassed in West Philadelphia, police shot and killed Walter Wallace, 27-year old Black man who was simply in need of help. Philadelphia is in pain.


We say ENOUGH of the poverty, the racism, the theft, the cruelty, the savagery.

The Black Leadership Group has proudly risen to our union’s call to Take Back 2020 and we will keep rising.

We are with you doing data, admin, canvassing, recruiting, phone banking, and everything we can think of to fight back with everything we’ve got.

We are taking back our power. We are taking back our lives.

And we are doing it through our fear, our rage and our tears.



We are calling on you to join us in giving this fight everything you’ve got.

We need our whole family, immigrants, queer, all races, all voices saying with one breath that


In these final days, ask yourself if there is anything more that you can do.

And then go do it.

This is the fight of our lives.


UNITE HERE Black Leadership Group
UNITE HERE Philly — Local 634, Local 274, Local 54


UNITE HERE Endorsement of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris

September 14, 2020 4:07 pm Published by Leave a comment

UNITE HERE is proud to endorse Joe Biden for President of the United States, and Kamala Harris for Vice President of the United States. With our endorsement comes our commitment to do our part to deliver the key swing states of Nevada, Arizona and Florida.

We are a union representing over 300,000 people, mostly women and people of color, working in the hospitality industry. We have attained some of the highest standards for work in the global hospitality industry have been the fastest growing private-sector union in the United States for several years.

As COVID-19 spread, UNITE HERE members counted on our elected officials for support. Instead, Donald Trump failed us. His botched pandemic response has led to record job loss, threatened the health care of millions, tanked the economy, and bailed out corporations instead of workers.

We’re ready to Take Back Our Country.

We need a President and Vice President who are committed to working with us to make our workplaces better, and who understand that One Job Should Be Enough. We need elected leaders who will protect our union health care, implement immigration reform, stand up to sexual harassment, and take meaningful, transformative steps to dismantle the scourge of systemic racism in our country.

Both Vice President Biden and Senator Harris have stood in solidarity with our union in some of our biggest fights of the past several years—from Airline Catering to the Marriott Strike. With COVID-19 threatening jobs everywhere, workers across the country are recognizing the power of unions. We need an administration that will protect our rights to organize and fight for the issues that are important to working people.

After four years of division, it’s time to come together. It’s time to Take Back what’s ours, and we can start by electing Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.


UNITE HERE is a labor union that represents over 300,000 members working in the North American hotel, gaming, food service, manufacturing, textile, distribution, laundry, transportation, and airport industries.

We are the Black Leadership Group of UNITE HERE International Union.

June 5, 2020 11:40 am Published by Leave a comment

We are organizers. We are elected officers. We are workers. We are community leaders and neighbors. We are parents, children, siblings, and kin. We are your Union family.

And we cannot breathe.

In the last three months we have seen companies line up to abandon us. We have seen them take away healthcare, guaranteeing that more people will fall ill. We have seen politicians shrug their shoulders as people go hungry. But while our Union has been thrown into crisis, our communities have been tossed into even deadlier devastation by ongoing racism and racist violence.

We have gotten sick faster and more often than others.

We have had fewer resources to get well.

Black men, women, and trans folks are murdered by police and citizens.

We have not enjoyed justice.

We keep burying people that we love.

Pain, fear, anger, and devastation hang heavy on our weary hearts. Sometimes we wonder if anyone can see that our people are killed by so many unjust causes. We lay awake at night not knowing what to do while racism keeps its foot on our necks, never lets up, never lets us take a break.
Can’t anyone see that we can’t breathe?

But we fight back, organizing workers to build power through our tears.

We fight back, making phone calls from our sick beds.

We fight back, distributing food even as we stretch our paychecks and family members lose their jobs.

We fight back, holding our loved ones tight and taking the streets because people who look like us meet violent deaths over and over and over again.

We fight for the right to keep breathing.

We carry forward a long and proud tradition of black union leaders organizing for Black freedom. And we will do so until our very last breaths.

Today we call upon you to stand with us. To join us in the fight for our lives — just as we will always stand with you and fight for yours. We know that what happens to our communities can and does happen to others. And it will continue to happen so long as any of us stand idly by. We will stand with our Asian family through the rise in hate, with our Latino family, and our immigrant family discarded, detained, and left in cages. We will stand with our white kin who choose the fight for real liberty and justice for all.

We are calling on you to fight police brutality and anti-black violence with us as we continue to fight for economic justice because we love our Union, and we know that we have the power to emerge victorious over racism, anti-immigrant racism, over sexism, homophobia, and everything that threatens working people and their communities, such that finally — at long last — we all might breathe freely and have life abundantly.


Scott Marks
Organizing director, Chair Black Leadership Committee

Nia Winson
IU General Vice President, L24 President

Marlene Patrick-Cooper
Executive Committee, L23 President

Marvin Jones
General Executive Board, L878 President

Alberta Palmer
L7 Lead Organizer

Kandiz Lamb
L355 Vice President, Lead Organizer

Barbara Vereen
L34 Organizing Director

Donald Boyd
L23 Chapter President

Tyisha Walker-Myers
General Executive Board, L35 Chief Steward

Pamela Stitts
IU Lead Organizer

Theressa Council
L54 Organizing Director

Courtney Smith
L1 Lead Organizer

Jean-Homer Lauture
L100 Lead Organizer

Leain Vashon
L226 Vice President

JT Thomas
L226 Field Representative

Nicole Hunt
General Executive Board, L634 President

Kelley Ford
IU Administrator

Charese Rasberry
L226 Lead Organizer

Ron Gatewood
IU Lead Organizer

Patrick Boyd
IU Organizing Director

UNITE HERE Statement on Proposed Suspension of Immigration to the U.S.

April 22, 2020 12:42 pm Published by Leave a comment

Sorry, Mr. President, we are not taking the bait! Your latest executive order is a phony deal.

You need to stop using immigrants as a foil yet again to distract the American people. This is exactly what you are doing with his latest executive order halting immigration to America for 60 days. Your own Immigration Service doesn’t even know what the order actually means and who it might cover.

You claim you’re halting immigration to help fight the COVID-19 virus. But you’re the same president who proposes medical guidelines to fight the virus while at the same time you encourage people to resist those guidelines.

Finally, you claim this executive order will help workers. As a labor union we have to say you’re dead wrong. You’re not helping workers with this. This executive order is a distraction. But we are not falling for it.

President Trump, if you want to help working people in this country you and Congress need to step up and focus on five things:

  1. You need to protect and expand health insurance for all workers;
  2. You need to keep all front-line workers safe and secure;
  3. You need to keep workers employed and protect earned pension checks;
  4. You need keep our state and local governments, our public schools and the U.S. Postal Service solvent and working;
  5. You need to keep America competitive- hire people now to build infrastructure.

Five priorities, Mr. President. If you are serious about helping workers, spend your time getting these five priorities accomplished now. This where our Union is focused. This is where working people are focused. And all your distractions only strengthen our focus.

UNITE HERE’s Culinary Union Hosts Town Halls with Democratic Contenders

January 20, 2020 12:27 pm Published by Leave a comment

UNITE HERE’s Culinary Union Local 226 hosted a series of seven Town Halls throughout November, December, and January in Las Vegas with Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Bernie Sanders, Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Amy Klobuchar, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Tom Steyer to hear more from leading 2020 Democratic contenders on where they stand on issues that matter most to our members: creating more good union jobs, healthcare, immigration, and more.

Hundreds of hospitality workers who are members of UNITE HERE’s Culinary and Bartenders Unions in Nevada—joined by UNITE HERE members from key swing states like Florida, Michigan, and Pennsylvania—packed into our Las Vegas union hall to hear from the candidates.


Airline Caterers Union Plans Airport Protests On Nov. 26, A Day When 2.8 Million People Will Be Flying

November 20, 2019 9:04 am Published by Leave a comment

UNITE HERE, which represents airline catering workers, plans demonstrations at 17 airports including Charlotte, Chicago O’Hare, Dallas, Newark, JFK and Washington National. (See list of airports at the end of this story.)

The union expects the number of demonstrators at each airport to range from about 200 to as many as 1,000 at JFK.

Read the rest of the article.

UNITE HERE Statement on Trump Administration’s Proposed Fee Hikes Limiting Access to Citizenship, DACA, Asylum, and Other Relief

November 18, 2019 10:54 am Published by Leave a comment

“The Trump administration’s proposed fee hikes are a brazen attempt to restrict access to citizenship, DACA, asylum, and other forms of relief to the wealthy, continuing their despicable campaign to limit immigration reform to the 1% through requirements that make wealth a prerequisite for access to the American Dream. As we head into 2020, we must intensify our fight to reclaim our country, remove politicians who spew racism and anti-immigrant animus from power, and achieve the real immigration reform that our families need.”

—Enrique L. Fernández
General Vice President for Immigration, Diversity and Civil Rights

UNITE HERE Remembers and Honors those Lost on September 11

September 10, 2019 9:02 pm Published by Leave a comment

commemOn this 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.


D. Taylor: Democrats must focus on kitchen-table issues to win the White House

May 9, 2019 1:39 pm Published by Leave a comment

“The Democratic presidential candidate who connects with American workers on kitchen-table economics will win the nomination and win the general election in 2020.

The political campaigns of 2020 will end at the ballot box, but they must start at the kitchen table. That is where elections are won and lost, where we meet the real issues of concern to Americans struggling to join the middle class. And the central issue today is economic anxiety in an era of plenty for the top 1 percent of America.”

Read D. Taylor’s full op-ed on The Hill here.