For immediate release
June 23, 2021
WASHINGTON—UNITE HERE hospitality workers made huge sacrifices to get out the vote and take back our country for the people. We knocked on 3 million doors in Nevada, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Florida, mobilizing the votes of working people and people of color hit hardest by economic inequality and the pandemic. Then we continued this momentum to the Senate runoffs, where laid-off hospitality workers joined the team that turned Georgia blue to help deliver come-from-behind wins in January. And because of record turnout we were able to Take Back our country.
We won’t stand by and let racist voter suppression laws move us backwards.
Tonight, while a united Democratic caucus voted to protect our democracy—and an obstructionist Republican party opted to continue the attack on our freedom to vote—over 1,500 UNITE HERE housekeepers, cooks, dishwashers, and food service workers prepared to assemble in Washington, D.C. They are traveling by bus from 22 different states near and far as part of the Freedom Ride for Voting Rights alongside Black Voters Matter. These are the working people and people of color who will be the most impacted by anti-voter laws if left unchecked, and many of them are the very people who knocked door after door last year to get out the vote in record numbers.
Voting is fundamental to working people’s power. This is a fight we’re not backing down from—people’s lives and futures are at stake. No one should ever underestimate the determination of the people. We call on the Biden administration and Congress to take bold action and deliver the protections we need at the ballot box. We will see you in Washington, D.C. on June 26.
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.