For immediate release
July 30, 2021
UNITE HERE Hospitality Workers Return to Washington DC with the Poor People’s Campaign to Combat Voter Suppression Laws
WHO: More than 75 UNITE HERE hotel housekeepers, cooks, and other hospitality workers alongside the Poor People’s Campaign and allies
WHAT: National rally and march to combat voter suppression laws
WHERE: Union Plaza, Washington, D.C.
WHEN: Monday, August 2 at 10:45 AM
Just days before the 56th anniversary of the signing of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, UNITE HERE will join the Poor People’s Campaign in nonviolent moral direct action to demand that the U.S. Senate protect our freedom to vote. Just as the 1960s Freedom Rides escalated to nonviolent direct action, UNITE HERE will build upon the June 2021 Freedom Ride for Voting Rights by returning to Washington, D.C. to fight against voter suppression laws.
Since the 2020 elections, hundreds of anti-voter bills have been introduced in states across the country. Hospitality workers are fighting back to demand that Congress stand up for democracy and end the filibuster, pass all provisions of the For the People Act, fully restore the Voting Rights Act of 1965, raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, and offer permanent protections, dignity, and respect for all 11 million undocumented immigrants.
From the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom to this summer’s mobilizations, the civil rights and labor movements have been linked historically in our collective struggle for better pay and equal rights for people of color. Union jobs are crucial to move working people out of poverty and have our communities thrive, not just survive.
Despite facing over 98% layoff rates at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, UNITE HERE members knocked on 3 million voters’ doors in Nevada, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Florida. Then, laid-off hospitality workers joined the team that turned Georgia blue to help deliver come-from-behind wins and Take Back the Senate in the January 2021 Georgia Senate runoff.
UNITE HERE is taking action with the Poor People’s Campaign because workers will be treated as disposable unless we have real power. Housekeepers, cooks, dishwashers, and food service workers from across the country are fighting back because we are the working people, women, people of color, and immigrants who will be most impacted by voter suppression laws.
UNITE HERE is the hospitality workers’ union in the U.S. and Canada of more than 300,000 workers in hotels, gaming, restaurants and food service, airports, and more. Ninety-eight percent of our members were laid off at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.