For immediate release
June 26, 2019
Hospitality Union Beats the Odds with 24% Growth in Five Years
Las Vegas, NV – UNITE HERE union delegates will gather in Las Vegas, Nevada today for the 2019 UNITE HERE International Union Convention, unified under the union’s rallying cry that “One Job Should Be Enough.” The Union is celebrating a blockbuster period of new organizing growth and successful campaigning that have transformed standards across the hospitality industry in recent years.
UNITE HERE has organized 62,000 workers in five years (24% overall growth), surpassing organizing goals set by President D. Taylor at the 2014 Convention. Of those 62,000 people, 12,000 of them reside in the American South, underscoring UNITE HERE’s commitment to organize in conservative, right-to-work states with uncommonly successful results. UNITE HERE is proud to now have over 300,000 members across North America.
Major UNITE HERE campaigns are slated for celebration at the Convention, including the successful 2018 Marriott strikes that resulted in record gains for North American hotel workers. This year, UNITE HERE is campaigning to raise standards for 20,000 catering workers who serve American, United, and Delta Airlines. This month, 11,000 workers in over 28 cities voted overwhelmingly in favor of authorizing a strike when released by the National Mediation Board—the largest vote ever to occur in the U.S. airline catering industry.
The union also will celebrate political victories that have bucked conventional wisdom regarding what labor can achieve under Trump. UNITE HERE played a major role in delivering hard fought election victories in both Nevada and Arizona, becoming the critical force behind the only Senatorial races to swing blue in 2018 (Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-NV and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-AZ). At the Convention, UNITE HERE will announce plans to expand the union’s political programs in the swing states of Nevada, Arizona, Florida during the 2020 presidential election.
UNITE HERE will also be showcasing its leadership on a variety of social and civil rights issues. UNITE HERE affiliates pioneered cutting edge anti-harassment language in union contracts covering thousands of workers, while also pushing for laws with workplace sexual harassment protections for hospitality workers in several states and municipalities. Amid attacks on immigrants from the Trump administration, the union has continued its advocacy for immigrant workers, leading efforts to protect millions of working people with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or DACA. The union has also renewed efforts to advance black union leaders and other leaders of color, testaments to the union’s longstanding commitment to civil rights and racial justice.
Said President Taylor on the eve of UNITE HERE’s 2019 Convention: “The future of the labor movement is bright, and we stand together now proud of the gains hospitality workers have made and prepared to continue to organize, mobilize, and fight for one job to be enough for all workers to live with dignity.”
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. Learn more at www.unitehere.org