Author Archives for Ann Kammerer

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.

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.


Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders to Join UNITE HERE Airline Catering Workers and Hundreds of Supporters at Reagan National Airport Rally, Tell American Airlines That One Job Should Be Enough

July 19, 2019 2:16 pm Published by Leave a comment

PRESS ADVISORY for July 23, 2019
Contact: Meghan Cohorst, 239-503-1533, [email protected]

WHO: UNITE HERE Airline catering workers and political, labor and community supporters from DC and elsewhere, including: 

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA), New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (CT), Sen. Sherrod Brown (OH), Sen. Jacky Rosen (NV)
  • Rep. Rosa DeLauro (CT), Rep. Steven Horsford (NV), Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Rep. Barbara Lee (CA), Rep. Stephen Lynch (MA), Rep. Grace Meng (NY), Rep. Ayanna Presley (MA), Rep. Darren Soto (FL), Rep. Dina Titus (NV), Rep. Rashida Tlaib (MI), Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ)
  • UNITE HERE President D. Taylor, ALPA President Captain Joe DePete, AFA-CWA President Sara Nelson, AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer Liz Shuler
  • Representatives from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and German trade union ver.di  

Tuesday, July 23, 2019
4:30-5:15p: Informational Picketing at Terminal C North Terrace (Departures Level)

5:30p: Rally/Speaking Program Begins in Terminal A Historic Lobby
6:30p: Elizabeth Warren scheduled to speak 


In the past month, following a breakdown in bargaining for a new contract, 15,000 airline catering workers at 32 U.S. airports voted to authorize a strike when released by the National Mediation Board. They say that poverty wages and unaffordable health care have created a crisis for workers in their industry, making it impossible for them to meet their basic needs. And while American Airlines reported a 2018 annual profit of $1.9 billion, wages for catering workerssubcontracted workers who prepare, pack, and deliver inflight food and beveragesin American Airlines’ major hub cities remain the lowest in the country. 

This week, UNITE HERE will formally request release to strike from the National Mediation Board, which would be followed by a 30-day cooling off period if granted. UNITE HERE is prepared to strike whenever it becomes lawful.  

For more information, visit 


UNITE HERE is a union of more than 300,000 members in in the hotel, gaming, food service, manufacturing, textile, distribution, laundry, transportation, and airport industries in the U.S. and Canada. This includes over 20,000 workers in the airline catering industry who are employees of Flying Food Group, Gate Gourmet, LSG Sky Chefs, and United Airlines

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.