POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS

UNITE HERE Local 11 has been a leader in the fight for immigrant rights, and to elect leaders who will represent working families’ interests. Notably, in 2020, Local 11 ran the largest single canvass in Arizona, winning the state for the pro-labor presidential and senate candidates.

In December 2020 Local 11 sent more than 300 leaders to Georgia to join a coalition to campaign for Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, winning two senate seats for the Democrats and ensuring that President Biden will have a majority in the Senate to enact policies to support working families.

UNITE HERE Local 11 Housekeepers Submit 100k Signatures on Groundbreaking Initiative to City of Los Angeles

Initiative would follow lead of neighboring cities to mandate panic buttons  and raise minimum wage for hotel workers

Los Angeles – Over one hundred housekeepers and other hospitality workers today turned in the petitions they have collected since late January to qualify their initiative for the November 2022 ballot. The initiative mirrors protections they have secured in Long Beach, Santa Monica and most recently West Hollywood.

“I am one of thousands of housekeepers in Los Angeles who will finally have panic buttons and other protections on the job”, said Martha Moran, a laid off housekeeper from the storied Chateau Marmont. “My coworkers and I deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and to receive fair compensation for the work we do. This initiative provides those things.”

Over one hundred thousand Angelenos have signed on to the measure that provides:

  • Panic buttons and other security measures to protect hotel housekeepers from sexual assault and threatening conduct
  • Fair compensation for heavy workloads
  • Automatic daily room cleaning throughout the industry
  • Expansion of minimum wage law for hotel workers
    “My heart is always with the workers, like my mother, who worked her fingers to the bone,” said Councilman Kevin De Leon. “The hard-working immigrant women and men who make up the hospitality industry in our city are the backbone of our economy and I’m proud to stand with them today as they submit their historic initiative petition. I’m ready to work with my colleagues on the L.A. City Council to transform this initiative into law. The people have spoken, and it’s our job to listen.”

“Even though I don’t work at a hotel, I understand that raising the standards for some of the lowest paid workers in the hospitality industry will bring up standards for all of us,” said Isha Kallay, food server from the Hollywood Park and Casino. “I wanted to collect signatures for this initiative because we need to stick together in order for all of us to get ahead.”

The housekeeping measure comes in response to the hotel industry’s attempt to cut labor costs and increase workloads by eliminating daily room cleaning during the pandemic. It also provides vital protections against sexual assault for housekeepers when cleaning guest rooms alone. The workers call on the Los Angeles City Council to outright adopt the law.

“The hotel industry has wanted to get rid of daily room cleaning for years, and the pandemic gave them the perfect excuse,” notes Kurt Petersen, co-president of UNITE HERE Local 11. “Angelenos have just shown the industry, led by the Chateau Marmont, that they see through the greedy pandemic profiteering tactics and stand with the housekeepers. I am hopeful that the Los Angeles City Council will do the same and outright adopt the ordinance. Los Angeles is a leading tourist destination; that should mean good jobs for Angelenos.”

Watch the entire press conference here
View more photos here

Kenny Washington Day

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.

Unions Must Help Salvage Democracy

UNITE HERE Local 11 Endorses “Living Wage Hero” Lindsey Horvath for Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Danielle Wilson | dwilson[at]unitehere11[dot]org | 818-534-799nine

Los Angeles – UNITE HERE Local 11 is proud to endorse West Hollywood City Councilmember Lindsey Horvath for Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors District 3. She was a decisive vote in passing the highest citywide minimum wage in the country.

Horvath’s victory on the minimum wage wasn’t easy. As early as 2015, the young Councilmember led the “Fight for $15” in West Hollywood, but despite her advocacy the then-City Council did not pass her proposal. This past summer Horvath became Mayor of the city, and things started to change. Mayor Horvath fought for and won groundbreaking legislation to protect hotel housekeepers from sexual assault, give them the right to return to their jobs by seniority amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and to improve the minimum wage to make sure housekeepers are fairly compensated for heavy workloads. Just months later, Horvath was the deciding vote to pass the highest minimum wage in the country at $17.64, making West Hollywood a national leader on policy for working people.

“Lindsey exemplifies what it means to be a public servant who fights for working people,” said Kurt Petersen, Co-President of UNITE HERE Local 11. “Our members can count on her no matter what, and that’s who we need to send to the Board of Supervisors.”

“The new minimum wage in West Hollywood will change my life, the lives of hotel workers across town, and all workers,” said Sandra Pellecer, who has worked as a cook in West Hollywood hotels for 16 years. “Lindsey Horvath fought for us and I’m proud to stand with her.”

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UNITE HERE Local 11 is a labor union representing 32,000 members who work in hotels, restaurants, universities, convention centers, and airports.

Hunger Strike for Voting Rights Day 5: Hunger strikers deliver massive cake iced with “Voting Rights Now” to Senator Sinema

CASE Action, UNITE HERE Local 11 activists find new ways to urge Senate to pass Freedom To Vote Act 

Phoenix: Yesterday, activists with UNITE HERE Local 11 and CASE Action entered the fifth day of their hunger strike to urge elected leaders to pass critical voting rights legislation by gathering outside of Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s office to deliver a message—and a cake.

Four helpers accompanied the group of half a dozen hunger strikers in wheelchairs and red sashes to carry the 200-serving cake iced with the message “Voting Rights Now”–an invitation to Senator Sinema to join in the campaigns to secure voting rights. Along with the cake, the Arizona hunger strikers attempted to deliver their handwritten letters to Senator Sinema expressing concern about her inaction on voting rights. Senator Sinema’s staff did not accept the cake or their letters.

“We came here to tell Senator Sinema that we hope she will deliver voting rights for the people of Arizona,” said Marilyn Wilbur, hunger striker with CASE Action and 18-year US Air Force veteran. “No matter what happens, I will continue to fight for the voting rights we deserve.” 

“Voting Rights Now” was also the message on banners held by fellow hunger strikers today who took arrest on the steps of the U.S. Senate while the body began debate on the Freedom to Vote: John Lewis Act.

“What these strikers have done to protect our right to vote is creating a generational impact. We are with you for what comes next as we continue to build our beloved community,” said Dr. Jannah Scott of the African American Christian Clergy Coalition.

“I have faith that my sacrifice of going four days without eating has told Senator Sinema and all of Congress that I will keep doing whatever it takes to be on the right side of the history of this beautiful country,” said Irma Pacheco, a hunger striker in Arizona with CASE Action and UNITE HERE Local 11.

In the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of laid off cooks, housekeepers, dishwashers, and bartenders with CASE Action and UNITE HERE Local 11 knocked on a million doors to win Arizona for Biden, and delivered two U.S Senate seats in Georgia. 

Last year, the Arizona state legislature passed laws that hurt both workers and voters by purging early permanent voting rolls and other harmful anti-voter changes. Since the 2020 election, state legislatures across the country have introduced hundreds of bills that make it harder for working people and people of color to vote.

CASE Action Fund is an economic justice organization dedicated to improving the lives of Arizona’s working families through policy advocacy and increasing participation in the political process

Workers Unions Begin Hunger Strike at Arizona Capitol

Hunger Strike Kick-Off Ahead of MLK Day by UNITE HERE Local 11, CASE Action & Un-PAC to Urge Senate to Pass of Freedom To Vote Act 

Local 11 and CASE Action launch the hunger strike for the freedom to vote at the Arizona capitol

PHOENIX–UNITE HERE Local 11, CASE Action, and Un-PAC today launched a hunger strike outside the Arizona State Capitol to continue to pressure elected leaders in Washington to pass the Freedom to Vote Act.

On day 1, strikers were joined by State Senator Raquel Teran and Pastor Aubrey Barnwell, among others.

Beatriz Topete, an organizing director with UNITE HERE Local 11, said, “It isn’t time to roll back the clock on voting rights–it’s time to move forward! Just yesterday, 40 of our fellow activists with un-PAC relaunched their hunger strike in Washington DC. And today, strikers in Arizona are joining in because we know that Arizonans believe in the freedom to vote.”

Last year the Arizona state legislature passed laws that hurt both workers and voters. Across the country, 400 bills were introduced to make it harder for people of color to vote. In response, UNITE HERE Local 11 and CASE Action went on a 10-day Freedom Ride from Arizona to Washington D.C to draw attention to the attacks on the freedom to vote across the country.

“The freedom that I have spent my life protecting is under attack,” said Marilyn Wilbur, CASE Action organizer and veteran of the US Air Force. “The Arizona legislature last year passed a law that will purge hundreds of thousands of mail voters from the Permanent Early Voter list, and another that will limit the time voters have to fix a signature on their ballot. Our state is part of a national trend to limit voting rights. That is why I joined the hunger strike for the freedom to vote.”

 

Ari Berrong-Huber, a UNITE HERE Local 11 member at Sky Harbor airport, also shared why he’s fighting for the freedom to vote. “Last August, I joined hundreds of other union members in a civil disobedience in DC. The freedom to vote is a sacred right. It is the way citizens can fight for better education, access to healthcare, and protections during the pandemic. Now I’m joining the hunger strike to call attention to the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. We can’t let loopholes and obstructionism stand in our way.”

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of laid off cooks, housekeepers, dishwashers, and bartenders knocked on a million doors to win Arizona for Biden, and delivered two U.S Senate seats in Georgia. Now, those same workers are forgoing food to protect our democracy. Hunger strikers plan to join the King family at Arizona Deliver for Voting Rights mobilization and Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Action on Saturday, January 15, 2022.

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CASE Action Fund is an economic justice organization dedicated to improving the lives of Arizona’s working families through policy advocacy and increasing participation in the political process.

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!