For immediate release
June 29, 2009
Pilar Weiss, [email protected]
Labor Movement Rallies Around UNITE HERE
Opening of Chicago Convention Includes Outpouring of Support from Major Union Presidents and Local Labor Bodies
Chicago – Today, UNITE HERE opened its constitutional convention with an outpouring of support from the labor movement. The opening of the union’s convention included remarks from AFSCME President Gerald McEntee and the unveiling of a solidarity pledge signed by 15 presidents of major national unions, representing over 10 million members.
The statement pledges "material and moral" support to UNITE HERE against raids and invasion of industry jurisdiction by any other unions. SEIU has been leading an attempted hostile takeover of UNITE HERE.
In addition to the pledges by national union leaders, over 20 different local and state-level labor bodies, including both the Los Angeles and San Francisco Labor Federations where SEIU has hundreds of thousands of members, have passed resolutions expressing solidarity for UNITE HERE and condemning raids and interference by SEIU.
Gerry McEntee, President of AFSCME, in discussing AFSCME’s signing of the pledge supporting UNITE HERE, noted, "Different unions have different strategies and that’s fine, but you cross the line when you interfere with another union. For another union to come onto your turf and take advantage of what you’ve built, that is piracy on the seas of organized labor. It breaks an unwritten code. I signed your solidarity agreement and I pledge support to UNITE HERE against any union raid, big or small. You have the support of 1.6 million AFSCME members. We’ve stood with you before and we stand with you now."
"Every day, we are getting more and more support from the labor movement. Our members are so proud to know that SEIU’s hostile acts are being rejected by Union Presidents and local labor leaders all across the country," said UNITE HERE President John Wilhelm.
UNITE HERE’s convention continues through Wednesday, July 1st, with additional remarks by national union leaders including United Food & Commercial Workers President Joseph Hansen, International Union of Operating Engineers President Vincent Giblin, and Laborers’ Union President Terry O’Sullivan.
For a copy of the solidarity pledge and listing of the 15 national labor leaders, go to: http://www.unitehere.org/convention_2009/presidents_solidarity.php
For a list and copies of the 24 resolutions from labor bodies across the country, go to: http://www.unitehere.org/convention_2009/labor_supports.php