Successes of First Year a Model as Labor Debates Future and How to Grow
(New York, NY) -” People in and around the labor movement are wondering how what happens this July at the AFL-CIO convention in Chicago will shape the future of working people. However, labor history was already made in Chicago last July with a merger that has paid real dividends for American workers. In its first year, UNITE HERE has changed to win.
On July 8, 2004, the garment, textile and laundry workers union UNITE merged with the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees, and formed UNITE HERE, a union of nearly half a million workers with a commitment to action and growth. Since that merger, the new union has won a series of important victories including strikes and lockouts in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Atlantic City; unprecedented contracts in the laundry and hotel industries; and corporate agreements guaranteeing workers a fair and neutral process by which to decide whether or not to join a union. By the end of 2005, UNITE HERE will have organized more new workers in one year than the two unions had combined in any past years.