For immediate release
October 6, 2015
UNITE HERE’s Culinary Union Welcomes Democratic Presidential Debate with a Week of Political Action
Las Vegas, NV – Next week, the first Democratic Presidential Debate will take place at a union hotel, Wynn Las Vegas. Union members from UNITE HERE’s Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165 will welcome the candidates and their campaigns by hosting a week of political action.
The Culinary Union is Nevada’s largest immigrant organization with over 55,000 members – a diverse membership that is approximately 55% women and 56% Latino. Members – who work as guest room attendants, bartenders, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, and kitchen workers – come from 167 countries and speak over 40 different languages. The Culinary Union has been fighting for fair wages, job security, and good health benefits for working men and women in Nevada for 80 years.
The Democratic Presidential Debate will be hosted at one of many union properties on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The Culinary Union is encouraging members of the media, political candidates, and attendees of the Presidential Democratic Debate in Las Vegas to avoid staying at hotels under an active labor dispute such as Station Casinos, Palms Casino Resort, and Trump Hotel Las Vegas. To see the full list properties with an active labor dispute, go to: VegasTravelAlert.org.
Politically, union members have been active in everything from City Council to Presidential races. In 2008, the Culinary Union was the first in the country to endorse then Senator Barack Obama. By mobilizing members in 2010, the Culinary Union re-elected Senator Harry Reid. In 2012, 110 union workers took a leave of absence from their jobs to work with the Culinary Union to register and turn out members and their families to vote – approximately 70,000 voters across Clark County are credited to the Culinary Union’s massive get-out-the-vote effort. The Culinary Union has not made endorsements in any of the 2016 races.
As part of the political week of action, workers will rally at the Trump Hotel, watch Democratic Presidential Debate, and host an immigrant voter registration day. Workers and the leader of the Culinary Union, Geoconda Arguello-Kline, will be available for interviews throughout the week. To attend any of the events below or schedule interviews with union members or Trump workers, please contact Bethany Khan.
Sunday, October 11 – Roundtable
- Union members and leadership will be available for interviews 11am at the Culinary Union’s Big Hall regarding the debate and 2016 issues. Please RSVP for access.
Monday, October 12 – Rally at Trump Hotel
- Thousands of workers will rally outside the Trump Hotel Las Vegas from 5-7pm to support the union organizing drive. All Democratic presidential candidates, elected officials, and politicians from across the country have also been invited.
Tuesday, October 13 – Labor Watch Party
- A few hundred union members will gather at the Culinary Union to watch the debate at 5:30pm. The Nevada State AFL-CIO is also inviting union members to participate.
Wednesday, October 14 – Political Academy
- The Culinary Union will host a political academy with Las Vegas Strip and Downtown Las Vegas workers. This will be the third class of this 6-week training which will be done in Spanish (10am) and in English (5pm).
Thursday, October 15 – Immigrant Voter Registration Day
- Culinary Union members have a goal of registering 500 people to vote throughout the Las Vegas Strip and in Downtown Las Vegas.
Friday, October 16 – Debrief
- Members, staff, and union leadership will gather 11am at the Culinary Union to discuss the week’s actions, debrief, and plan ahead for 2016.
Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165, Nevada affiliates of UNITE HERE, represent over 55,000 workers in Las Vegas and Reno, including at most of casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip and in Downtown Las Vegas. UNITE HERE represents 270,000 workers in gaming, hotel, and food service industries in North America.