For immediate release
May 26, 2021
“UNITE HERE grieves the loss of ATU Local 265 Transit Union members murdered today in yet another horrific and devastating act of gun violence that took the lives of eight working people at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) light rail yard. Our Union sends love, prayers, and solidarity to the family, community, and union members impacted by today’s senseless tragedy.
“Union meetings are supposed to be an inspiring space for workers to join together to organize to build power and for the collective good. We don’t yet know all the details behind today’s mass shooting, but what we are sure of is that nobody should ever have to feel unsafe at their workplace—that’s one of the things we in the labor movement fight for every day. And this should especially go for workers who have already been putting their lives on the line for over a year as frontline, essential workers that have helped keep our country running during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Today, we mourn—as we did after March’s attack on predominately AAPI women service workers: The VTA workers and ATU Local 265 Transit Union members may not have been UNITE HERE members, but they may have well been. And that’s why we will never stop fighting until we achieve a just society that protects us all.”
UNITE HERE is the hospitality workers’ union in the U.S. and Canada, representing over 300,000 workers in hotels, gaming, restaurants and food service, airports, and more. Ninety-eight percent of its members were laid off at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as of May 2021, over 70 percent remained out of work.