“Yesterday, a horrific act of domestic terrorism took the lives of eight people in Atlanta, Georgia, most of whom were Asian and immigrant women working in the service industry. As the union of hospitality workers whose membership is predominantly women, immigrant, and people of color, we grieve with the families of the victims as well as with the Asian American community in the Greater Atlanta area and across the country in the face of this murderous act.
“But while today we grieve, we are also called to action as a labor movement. We all must acknowledge that these victims were workers, targeted at their place of work—at their low-wage frontline jobs that we demanded remain open throughout most of the pandemic—and that these murders did not happen in isolation, but as part of a rising trend in anti-Asian sentiment and hate crimes committed against the community.
“We must stand in solidarity with all those mourning today, but it cannot end there. To dismantle white supremacy, we must do what the labor movement exists to do—and that is to show up, organize, and build the infrastructure to ensure our siblings and community members are protected.
“We love and support our AAPI siblings, including the many AAPI UNITE HERE members, and we are here for you. The workers that were lost may not have been UNITE HERE members, but they may well have been. We are devasted but we will not stop fighting until we achieve a just society that protects us all.”