For immediate release
September 14, 2020
NEW YORK—In a virtual town hall with union leadership, members, and Candidate for Vice President Kamala Harris, UNITE HERE International Union announced its endorsement of Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris for President and Vice President of the United States. The endorsement follows a vote of approval by the UNITE HERE General Executive Board.
UNITE HERE members and leadership outlined the union’s plans to “Take Back 2020” for the Democratic nominees and its commitment to do its part to deliver the key swing states of Nevada, Arizona, Florida, and beyond by mobilizing its membership and their families to register and vote.
“This country needs leadership like Vice President Biden and Senator Harris who will stand for issues that are important for working people,” said UNITE HERE International President D. Taylor, “Four years of Donald Trump has been more than enough. 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, and we are proud to endorse them for President and Vice President.”
UNITE HERE committed to build on its proven track record of electoral successes to defeat Donald Trump, and to elect leaders who will bring stability and good jobs back to our country by moving forward to “Take Back 2020” with major grassroots efforts to win back key swing states of Nevada, Arizona, Florida and beyond.
“Donald Trump’s pandemic response has been a spectacular failure, and it’s been particularly difficult for our union of hospitality workers—at the peak of stay-at-home orders, 98% of UNITE HERE members were out of work and millions of working people lost their employer-provided health insurance. The pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on people of color, leading to more infections and death rates in our communities,” said Nia Winston, UNITE HERE General Vice President and President of UNITE HERE Local 24, “But UNITE HERE has never been a union to sit back and watch while history happens around us, and we’re committed to doing our part in Nevada, Arizona, Florida, Michigan, and beyond to Take Back Our Country and deliver the election for Vice President Biden and Senator Harris.”
Yolette Lareus, UNITE HERE Local 335, Miami
“COVID-19 has been a complete devastation to Florida and to hospitality workers like me. After working for 27 years as a cook at Calder Casino, I lost my job and my ability to provide for my family. I’ve struggled for months to receive a $275 weekly unemployment payment from Governor DeSantis and still today, six months later, I’m missing seven weeks of unemployment benefits. Voting is the only way we can fix this situation. Florida is the most critical state in this election and that’s why I’m doing everything I can to get people to vote. I’m confident we can take back our power both in Central and South Florida and together we can take back the country.”
Maggie Acosta, UNITE HERE Local 11, Phoenix
“I worked for years for an airline catering company, Flying Food Group. The company received federal bailout money, but they shut down my kitchen anyway, and I lost my job. On top of that, my son contracted COVID-19 and I had to take care of him while also protecting myself, as I’m a cancer survivor and at higher risk of contracting the virus. No mother should go through something like this. At the same time, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, Senator McSally, and Donald Trump all failed to show any leadership, putting me, my family, and my community at risk. I’m proud to be knocking on doors to make sure that we turn Arizona blue and elect real leaders like Vice President Biden and Senator Harris.”
Yolanda Scott, UNITE HERE’s Culinary Union, Las Vegas
“I am a frontline worker who has taken a leave-of-absence from my job to defeat Trump. It’s important for me to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris because this election is so important. The whole world has shut down and so many of my coworkers are laid off. Fighting for justice and equality is why I’m a union shop steward. I am proud to fight for my coworkers at work and now, I’m in the streets of Las Vegas talking to other Culinary Union members about why it’s important to vote. We are fighting for justice and that’s on the ballot this election. We want to take back our country and we can by voting!”
UNITE HERE has over 300,000 members working in the hotel, gaming, food service, manufacturing, textile, distribution, laundry, transportation, and airport industries in the U.S. and Canada. At the peak of the pandemic, over 98% of UNITE HERE members were unemployed, and 80% are still out of work today. Learn more at www.unitehere.org.