UNITE HERE & Culinary Union statements re: Election Day results


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Media Contact:
Bethany KhanBKhan@culinaryunion226.org ▪ (702) 387-7088

Statement from Geoconda Arguello-Kline, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union regarding Election Day Results:

For over 81 years, the Culinary Union has been fighting to protect working families in Nevada. We are pleased to have Catherine Cortez Masto as the first Latina senator from Nevada and Ruben Kihuen – our next congressman from Congressional District 4!

This victory would not be possible without the 300 UNITE HERE and Culinary Union members who -in the past two months- took a leave-of-absence from their hotel and casino jobs and knocked on over 350,000 doors, talked to over 75,000 voters, and delivered 54,000 early votes as political organizers.

We committed to delivering Nevada on Election Day for politicians who will fight for our families because we have decades of experience fighting billionaires and winning. Defeating Donald Trump in Nevada was personal for Culinary Union members - we know more than most, what it’s like to have him as a boss – and we did everything we could to ensure that he wasn’t our next President. 

The Culinary Union won in Nevada because we have worked for over eight decades to build internal power and strength. We formed a political army of working men and women who are dedicated to economic justice. We are incredibly proud to have one of the toughest, best-trained grassroots field operation in the country, and as the largest immigrant organization in Nevada, we are proud to have helped over 16,000 people become American citizens and new voters since 2001.

Culinary Union members in Nevada voted in record numbers because they want their health care fixed, not repealed. Workers also want to make sure the next President of the United States and the new Congress eliminate the 40% health benefits tax and stop Paul Ryan’s plan to tax our health benefits.

Nevada would not be as strong without the incredible leadership of Senator Harry Reid and we are proud to have had his back throughout his political career and thank him for fighting for our families. Nevadans have soundly rejected the racist, sexist, and xenophobic values of the Republican Party. We will hold politicians –who have been elected to represent us- accountable for timely delivering comprehensive worker-centered immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship.

Catherine Cortez Masto and Ruben Kihuen have stood in solidarity with Culinary Union members and we know that they will continue to fight in Washington, DC to protect workers’ rights.

– Geoconda Arguello-Kline, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union. 

Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165, Nevada affiliates of UNITE HERE, represent over 57,000 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. 

The Culinary Union is Nevada’s largest immigrant organization with over 57,000 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 over 80 years. 

The Culinary Union is encouraging Nevada locals, political candidates, and tourists to avoid staying at/or patronizing hotels under an active labor dispute such as Station Casinos, Palms Casino Resort, and the Trump Hotel Las Vegas. To see the full list properties with an active labor dispute, go to: VegasTravelAlert.org.  

CulinaryUnion226.org / @Culinary226


Wednesday, November 9, 2016


NEVADA: Bethany KhanBKhan@culinaryunion226.org ▪ (702) 387-7088

NATIONAL: Meghan Cohorst ▪ mcohorst@unitehere.org ▪ (239) 503-1533

Statement from President D. Taylor of UNITE HERE on Results of 2016 Election

Immigrant Workers Increase Latino Voter Turnout, Topple Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Culinary Union Helps Elect first Latina to US Senate, First Latino to House for Nevada

Las Vegas, NV – The 270,000 members of UNITE HERE and their hundreds of thousands of family members are standing strong today after their historic efforts to increase Latino voter turnout in the 2016 election. The union that helped Clinton carry this swing state says hospitality workers have an increasing voice as voters and stakeholders in American politics.

“Our members have experienced how working families have suffered when Donald Trump is in charge. We have to organize to make change—no matter who is in office. The mentality of hard work produced a number of bright spots last night and showed that the way we organize can produce tremendous wins,” said D. Taylor, president of UNITE HERE.

“Our members—housekeepers, cooks, cocktail waitresses, food servers, bellmen and porters who take a leave of absence from hotel and casino jobs to work full-time as political organizers—have spent decades focusing on increasing Latino voter turnout in places like Nevada, Arizona and Florida. We’re one of the toughest and best-trained grassroots field operations in the country, and a number of local results from last night demonstrate the power of our organization,” said María Elena Durazo, vice president for immigration, diversity and civil rights at UNITE HERE.

In the past two months, UNITE HERE members knocked on over 350,000 doors and talked to over 75,000 voters. The North American hospitality workers union sent nearly 400 members from 25 union locals in 17 states to battleground states.

In Nevada, the Culinary Union—UNITE HERE’s largest affiliate and the largest political organization in the state—led 150 union members in canvassing efforts in Las Vegas and Reno over the past 10 weeks. Reinforcements of 150 more canvassers from UNITE HERE locals as far away as Connecticut and Hawaii joined the Nevada operation for the last 10 days.

“The Culinary Union has worked for 81 years to build the strength we demonstrated Tuesday night. Our members helped 2,200 new citizens naturalize and registered more than 8,000 new voters just this year. We broke another barrier for Latinos in this country by electing Catherine Cortez Masto the first Latina to the U.S. Senate and Ruben Kihuen the first Latino Congressman from Nevada,” said Geoconda Arguello-Kline, Secretary-treasurer of the Culinary Union. “We know more than most what it’s like to have Donald Trump as a boss and we did everything we could to ensure that he wasn’t our next President.” 

In Arizona, UNITE HERE and its community ally CASE Action helped defeat anti-immigrant Sheriff Joe Arpaio. “Our efforts represent the most diverse political operation in Phoenix. Hospitality workers, together with Latino and East African Muslim teens, played a major role,” said Betty Guardado, secretary-treasurer of UNITE HERE Local 631. Building on their work of 2012, the union–community partnership completed over 11,000 new and updated voter registrations in greater Phoenix as part of coalition that registered 150,000. Latino early voting in Arizona this year increased more than in any other state compared to 2012, according to statistics compiled by Catalist.

In Florida, UNITE HERE electoral operations focused on increasing Latino voter turnout in Miami-Dade, Orange and Osceola counties. Latinos cast about 14 percent of the all of the state’s early and absentee ballots—far ahead of where they were in 2012. Early voting in both Miami-Dade and Orange counties had already produced 85% of those counties’ 2012 ballot total. In Osceola County—where UNITE HERE successfully campaigned for Jose Alvarez for the mayor of Kissimmee—early voting reached 95% of total votes cast in 2012 and nearly one-third of Latino early voters cast ballots for the first time.

In Pennsylvania, UNITE HERE more than doubled its previous electoral efforts in Northwest and West Philadelphia to bolster African-American voter turnout in Philadelphia, the largest city in any swing state.

Teleconference hosted by UNITE HERE’s Culinary Union leaders in Las Vegas

Wednesday, November 9, 2016 at 11am Pacific.

Details: http://www.culinaryunion226.org/news/press/media-advisory-unite-here-and-culinary-union-celebrate-largest-ever-presidential-ground-game

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UNITE HERE is a labor union that represents 270,000 working people across North America. Our members work in the hotel, gaming, food service, manufacturing, textile, distribution, laundry, transportation and airport industries. Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165 in Nevada are together the largest affiliate of UNITE HERE. They represent over 57,000 workers in Las Vegas and Reno, including at most of casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip and in Downtown Las Vegas.

The membership of UNITE HERE is diverse. We are predominantly women and people of color and we hail from all corners of the planet. In Nevada, the Culinary Union is the state’s largest immigrant organization, with over 57,000 members. Together, we are building a movement to enable people of all backgrounds to achieve greater equality and opportunity.

CulinaryUnion226.org / @Culinary226


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