For immediate release
May 1, 2017
UNITE HERE Helps Lead Largest May Day in the U.S. in More than a Decade
From LA to Miami and Dozens of Cities in Between, Thousands of Hotel and Food Service Workers Join May Day Actions, Calling for Fairness for All Immigrants and Workers
WASHINGTON— More than 30,000 UNITE HERE members in 27 cities are taking part in actions in their communities and workplaces for the largest May Day in the U.S. in more than a decade. Hundreds of thousands of workers, immigrants, and allies will take to the streets for humane, commonsense immigration policies, and to challenge the racist and anti-worker policies of the Trump administration.
Thousands of UNITE HERE members in Las Vegas, Chicago, New York, New Haven, Boston, Washington, and more will march and rally to demand workers’ rights and ending unjust immigrant detentions.
- In the Bay Area, UNITE HERE has organized massive mobilizations in San Jose with Silicon Valley Rising, prompting action from Facebook and Google.
- Workers in Miami and at Disney in Orlando are standing with Haitian immigrant workers against the threat to their Temporary Protected Status.
- In Denver, workers are marching to an ICE detention center to protest unjust immigration enforcement.
- In Philadelphia, workers are rallying at the International Arrivals Hall at PHL to stand with immigrant workers fighting for fairness at the airport.
- In Oakland, immigrant hotel workers are going out on strike for “sanctuary workplaces” where worker and immigrant rights are protected.
- In Los Angeles, workers are taking to the streets in one of the largest marches in the city’s history.
“I grew up here in Silicon Valley, and I’ve seen firsthand how the tech industry has made it hard for people like me and my family to afford to keep living here,” said Maria Guerrero, a barista at Intel and member of UNITE HERE Local 19. “Immigrants and workers like me are the backbone of the tech industry, we will no longer be invisible, and I took today off to march here with my community to say that we’re not backing down, whether it’s to huge tech companies or the racist policies of the Trump Administration.”
May Day is International Workers’ Day, when working people around the world demonstrate to commemorate hard-fought victories for basic worker protections—like overtime pay and an end to child labor—led and won by immigrants during the 19th and 20th Centuries in the U.S. and to stand for the advancement of all working people. This year’s May Day actions hold particular significance given the anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim climate and policies that have emerged under Trump.
“Now, more than ever, our communities are under attack, but this May Day, it’s everyday people who are demonstrating that we have the power and courage to push back and win,” said Maria Elena Durazo, UNITE HERE Vice President for Civil Rights, Diversity and Immigration. “For decades, cooks, dishwashers and cleaners in our union have proven that working people can take on billionaires like Trump and win. We are immigrants, women, and people of all races and religions. We have overcome enormous obstacles because we refuse to be divided or succumb to fear. We are proud to stand with the millions of people who will be marching on May Day. Together, we are forging a new movement.”
UNITE HERE represents 270,000 members working in the hotel, gaming, food service, manufacturing, textile, distribution, laundry, transportation, and airport industries in the U.S. and Canada.