Author Archives for Meghan Cohorst

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.)

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“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!”

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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:











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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, mcohorst@unitehere.org

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  

WHERE AND WHEN: 
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 

WHY: 

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 www.AirportStrikeAlert.org. 

### 

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

Statement by D. Taylor, UNITE HERE President, on Massacre at Synagogue in Pittsburgh

October 29, 2018 8:35 am Published by Leave a comment

In a most horrific act, anti-Semitism showed its face at the Tree of Life Synagogue on Saturday in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We grieve with the families and the Jewish community in Pittsburgh and across the United States in the face of this murderous act. Our hearts are broken.

Today we grieve but we are also called to action. Anti-Semitism is not something new. Sadly there has been an increase in incidents of anti-Semitism in this country recently. We all remember the images of neo-Nazis marching in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the President’s moral equivalency in the face of that. UNITE HERE members oppose anti-Semitism in every form.

The President said yesterday “the scourge of anti-Semitism cannot be tolerated.” We at UNITE HERE agree and we re-commit ourselves as a union to eradicate wherever it shows its face. We also demand that our political leaders, especially our President, cease and desist from fanning the flames of fear and hate in our country by their divisive rhetoric. Their words have consequences.

How can we console the Jewish community in Pittsburgh and across America today? What comfort for the families who have experienced such terrible loss? What words of reassurance and encouragement can we offer young Jewish children in America today so that they know they are loved and valued and secure

Today every one of us must become “repairers of the breach” (Isaiah 58:12). We must all work together to protect the human dignity of every person. We must call out all acts, and even words, of anti-Semitism, racism, bigotry. We must challenge even an iota of moral equivalence.

UNITE HERE will continue to fight for the dignity of every man and woman and child. Together with people of good will across this country let us begin the work of “repairing the breach.”

UNITE HERE Statement on the Killing of Local 23 member TeeTee Dangerfield

August 9, 2017 11:53 am Published by Leave a comment

Screen Shot 2017-08-08 at 6.12.47 PMOn July 31, our union sister TeeTee Dangerfield was senselessly murdered. TeeTee was a server at the Atlanta Airport, a very proud member of Local 23, and a trans woman. Her murder is being investigated as a potential hate crime.

We are horrified and saddened by TeeTee’s unconscionable murder, a crime that took away a shining star in her community, her workplace, and in her union. TeeTee was not only a skilled server whose warm and friendly service led some passengers to seek her out specifically when they flew out of or through ATL—she was also a leader in her union, seeking to become “the best shop steward our union had ever seen.” 

While we mourn the fact that her life was taken so soon and so violently, we are also angry. Angry that transphobia and hate continue to manifest in our communities, where all individuals have the right to live their lives as whomever they are. TeeTee is the 16th known transgender person to be killed in the United States in 2017. This is an epidemic that can and must be stopped.

For our part, we will continue to fight for workplace protections for our LGBTQ sisters and brothers, which is but one piece of the larger movement to end the discrimination and violence often directed at the trans- and broader LGBTQ community. We will honor TeeTee’s memory by lending our collective strength and voices to say: Enough is enough! Not one more.

Justice for TeeTee. Rest in Power, sister.


Local 23 – Atlanta is partnering with Jobs with Justice Atlanta, the GA AFL-CIO, the Transgender Law Center, SONG, SNAPCO and members of the City of Atlanta, Pre-Arrest Diversion Program to organize two memorial events for TeeTee.

Friday – August 11, 2017
Airport Worker Memorial at ATL Airport
11:00am – 6:00pm
in the Interfaith Chapel (3rd floor Atrium)
https://www.facebook.com/events/415687208828890/

Friday – August 12, 2017
Community Memorial & Healing Cypher for TeeTee & Our Gurlz
7:00-10:00pm
The Blue House – 2861 East Point St, East Point, GA 30344
https://www.facebook.com/events/336147176797611/

 

Airline Catering workers launch national campaign for equality!

April 18, 2017 3:42 pm Published by Leave a comment

On April 12, more than 100 workers and their allies marched to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington D.C. to demand pay equity for airline catering workers. The march anchored a series of actions nationwide, as workers from 16 airports rallied for dignity and equality. Watch the video:

Read the CQ Roll Call article on our national campaign:
Airline Food Workers Protest Low Wages Amid ‘Historic’ Profits,”

Watch TV coverage of our march in D.C.:
Airline Food Workers March for Pay Equality,Fox 5 DC 
Docenas de empleados de los aeropuertos Reagan y Dulles protestan,” Univisión, Noticias Ya DC 

Check out the Facebook album of actions across the country:
Screen Shot 2017-04-18 at 6.28.20 PM

“My work helps the airlines make so much money, yet I can barely scrape by. To me, that is not right. That is why my co-workers and I are coming together to demand one simple thing: equality.”
Nelson Robinson, airline catering worker in Washington, D.C.

Google: Protect Immigrant Workers!

April 14, 2017 12:34 pm Published by Leave a comment

Sign the petition to Google today.

C8HL5rHUIAAasK3.jpg-largeThousands of subcontracted cafeteria workers, janitors, security officers, shuttle drivers, groundskeepers, and other service workers — predominantly immigrants, people of color, and women— are employed in Google offices across the U.S. They have acutely felt the Trump administration’s repeated attacks on them and their friends and families. For these individuals, calls to take action on May Day resonate with growing urgency.

As detailed in an April 13 BuzzFeed article, Google has supported its direct employees’ right to protest. Now, these tech workers are joining with low-wage subcontracted workers to call on industry leaders to protect all tech workers by taking strong positions against anti-immigrant and anti-worker federal policies.

UNITE HERE has joined over 40 other immigrant-, tech equality and workers’ rights organizations in signing open letter to Google, calling on that company to respect workers’ wishes to participate in May Day actions.

In addition, delegations are taking place throughout the week of April 10 to Google offices across the U.S., including Boston, Atlanta, Ann Arbor,  San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

You can add your voice!
Sign the petition to Google today.

Airline Food Workers Remember Martin Luther King Jr. in Rally for Racial and Economic Justice

April 4, 2017 4:00 am Published by Leave a comment

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On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated while standing with striking sanitation workers. 49 years later, airport food workers in Philadelphia joined faith leaders, community groups and other workers to honor King’s struggle and rally for economic and racial justice.

In Philadelphia, workers who cater flights for American Airlines and other carriers are paid $4.20 less per hour than the airport living wage, amounting to annual losses of more than $8,700 for full-time employees.

Sky Chefs worker Avery Austin addressed the crowd, which numbered in the hundreds. “Everybody here is ready to fight. Nobody is backing down. Nobody is scared. All we want is equal rights.”

Following the rally, airline and airport food workers led a march through the streets around City Hall, chanting, “If we don’t get it? Shut it down!” and “Treat your workers with respect!” At the end of the march, attendees flowed into the Arch Street United Methodist Church for a teach-in about the intersections of racial and economic justice.

“We have to understand that they are scared because we are waking up. They thought we’re asleep, but we are not. We are not scared—we are ready.”

Gay Pride Month and Orlando Attacks

June 14, 2016 12:12 pm Published by Leave a comment

A message from UNITE HERE President D. Taylor:

The murderous attack that took place in Orlando over this past week-end shakes all of us to the core. Once again an easily purchased assault weapon brings death and misery to so many. Once again innocent men and women have their lives cut short. Once again our hearts are broken. Our hearts and prayers go out to all those affected by these terrible events. Our resolve goes out once again to put our political leaders on notice that we will not stand by and do nothing. The guns laws in this nation must change. The intolerance and marginalization of LGBTQ men and women must end.

I must add a special word of condolence and commitment to our brothers and sisters in the LGBTQ community. Grief and horror can only be matched today by righteous anger at this assault on the gay community. So much heartbreak is borne again in the face of bigotry and intolerance. Our members want the entire LGBTQ community to know that we are with you. We stand with you. We want you to know that UNITE HERE members all across both countries stand with you. We stand with you now in the face of such loss. We stand with you in the ongoing struggle for tolerance and full equality. We stand with you as you stand with our members in the ongoing struggle for human dignity and justice.

I ask all of our local unions to act today. This is Gay Pride month. I urge every local to be engaged in the special programs of the LGBTQ community. Let us show our solidarity. It is needed now more than ever.

Earlham College Cafeteria Workers Become Members of UNITE HERE Local 23!

September 23, 2015 10:52 am Published by Leave a comment

Earlham CollegeAfter a long fight, Earlham College cafeteria workers have finally become members of UNITE HERE Local 23!  They began organizing in early 2014 after their employer, Sodexo, began exploiting a loophole in the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  This loophole allowed Sodexo to reclassify many of the full-time workers as part-time, resulting in a loss of benefits for affected employees.

In the many months that followed, Earlham workers proved that they wouldn’t take Sodexo’s actions lying down: they were featured in a high-profile article in the Wall Street Journal  traveled to actions across the country, and even visited the U.S. Capitol to demand the closure of what they dubbed the “Sodexo Loophole.”

Ultimately, their efforts were successful! In June 2014, Earlham amended its contract with Sodexo to require that employees’ benefits be restored, and, later that month, Sodexo reversed its policy nationwide.  Four months later, workers won an NLRB election and gained union recognition.

But their fight wasn’t yet over.  In November 2014, Sodexo announced it was leaving Earlham, and workers came together again, organizing with the support of Earlham students and community members to keep their jobs, seniority and wages.  They won the union for a second time, this time with a new company, Metz Culinary Management.  On September 16, 2015—after over a year and a half of organizing—Earlham workers unanimously ratified their first contract!

These workers and their hard-fought victory are a wonderful example of the dedication and tenacious spirit of all UNITE HERE members.  Let them be an example to us all.

Congratulations, and welcome to UNITE HERE!