February 13, 2022—Super Bowl Sunday!—was officially marked as Kenny Washington Day by a motion of the LA City Council introduced by Councilmember Curren Price. Kenny Washington was the first African-American player to integrate the NFL. Two days previously, a tentative agreement was reached between concession workers and management at SoFi Stadium on their first Union contract. To celebrate both the legacy of Kenny Washington and the tentative union contract for SoFi workers, we were joined—amongst others—by civil rights legend, Reverend James Lawson. AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler, LA County Fed President Ron Herrera, LA City Councilmember Curren Price, NFL Players Association President JC Tretter, and the NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith.
“Our intention with our strike was to bring more attention to the company’s stinginess after four years of negotiations, and to do it at a time when the company would be forced to recognize the value of our labor most – Thanksgiving,” said Victoria Stahl, barista in Terminal 4. “We did that and now we are ready to go back to the negotiating table.”
“It’s disgusting that I have to go to Mexico for medical care because the health insurance through the company doesn’t cover my treatment,” said Lucia Salinas, cook at Cowboy Ciao. “HMS Host saved more than $4 million on their rent during the pandemic thanks to rent relief from the City of Phoenix, but my family doesn’t get anything like that. Because we went on strike, now everyone can see what kind of company HMS Host is.”
The West Hollywood City Council voted unanimously to establish the highest minimum wage in the country. And members of UNITE HERE Local 11 were key players in winning this fight. Sí se pudo!
This past June, 200 members of UNITE HERE Local 11 and allies took a week-long Freedom Ride for Voting Rights from Phoenix to Washington, DC, to tell Congress to pass the For The People Act. Here are their stories.