Author Archives for Ann Kammerer

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.

2020 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Commemoration

March 25, 2020 12:54 am Published by Leave a comment

1March 25, 2020, is the 109th 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.

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.


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.


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.


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

Thank you for telling Congress to put workers first!

March 21, 2020 3:44 pm Published by Leave a comment

Thank you for making your call to Congress to tell them to put workers first! Will you encourage others to do the same?

(If  you didn’t get through the first time, keep trying! Dial 808-201-0028.)

FACEBOOK // Click to share!

Sample Facebook Post:
“I just called Congress to tell them that thousands of hospitality workers—not just billionaire companies—need cash in their pockets RIGHT NOW. Workers must come first in any COVID-19 bailout package! Please join me in calling today. It’s easy, just follow this link!”

TWITTER // Click to Tweet!

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Action Alert! Congress: Put Workers First!

March 21, 2020 3:26 pm Published by Leave a comment

Thousands of workers—not just billionaire companies—need cash in their pockets RIGHT NOW.

Call Congress today to tell them to put workers first. Tell them that you do NOT support any COVID-19 bailout package for the rich that does not: 

  • Keep unemployment insurance in place
  • Extend workers’ health insurance coverage
  • Require companies to pay emergency sick-pay to workers affected by the virus
  • Guarantee family and medical leave
  • Maintain funding for nutrition programs like food stamps and WIC
  • Provide emergency rent and mortgage relief for workers who have been laid-off

Ready to call? Enter your information below and you’ll immediately receive a call to connect you to the Capitol Switchboard:

Text STOP to opt out. No purchase necessary.
Expect 4 msgs/mo. Terms and Conditions

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.