Posts About Women

*Note: This is not a Culinary Union press release.*


For Immediate Release

April 23, 2013

Christina Walsh:  512.407.9020

Albany, N.Y. –  Today, leaders of New York women’s groups, state legislators and advocates for sexual and domestic assault survivors will call on the New York State Assembly to uphold the ban against professional human cage fighting events and to vote against Assembly Bill 6506, which would legalize these events.

Fighters in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and others associated with cage fighting, also known as “mixed-martial arts,” have joked about rape in public and made sexually explicit remarks that are demeaning towards women.

“New York Deserves better,” said Connie Neal, Executive Director of the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence. “Our elected leaders should not condone the negative attitudes and beliefs about violence against women that are glorified in professional human cage fighting. We strongly urge the Assembly to vote `No’ on Assembly Bill 6506 and uphold the ban.”

“Cage fighting has no place in a civilized society,” said Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee. “Except for those who stand to profit from this barbaric entertainment masquerading as sport, cage fighting causes great harm. It harms the fighters who risk their very lives and are sometimes killed. It harms women who are victimized by the glorification of distorted masculinity that cage fighting represents. It harms impressionable children as well as young people who are taught to believe that human brutality is a spectator sport.”

State and national organizations that support the existing ban against human cage fighting include the New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NYSCASA), the National Organization for Women (NOW)-New York State, End Violence Against Women International, and the National Organization for Men Against Sexism (NOMAS), among others. (You can read their March 15th letter to State Assembly members here:

“Mixed Martial Arts is a great marketing ploy,” said Assemblywoman Deborah J. Glick. “It is really ultimate fighting, which runs counter to all our efforts to reduce the impulse among people -- especially young people -- to resort to violent interaction.  Society needs to send better messages to young people encouraging non-violent games of sport.”

Last year, UFC fighter Quinton “Rampage” Jackson appeared in an online video in which he pretends to attempt to rape a woman in a parking garage using chloroform and zip ties. Another UFC cage fighter Forrest Griffin wrote the following message on his Twitter account: "Man that bitch is so tough she uses a wooden dildo because she likes the splinters!"

Earlier this month, Joe Rogan, who does commentary for UFC televised events, posted the following messages on Twitter: “I view women that don’t like children the same way I view dogs that like to eat their own shit,” and “To the white knights coming to the defense of women who hate kids—they’re still not going to fuck you weak bitches.”

Despite public criticism for tolerating such offensive language, the UFC recently released a “Fighter Conduct Policy” that does not expressly prohibit obscene language and is more tolerant of misconduct than similar codes used by other professional sports organizations. The UFC policy gives the UFC discretion in deciding whether to impose discipline and what discipline to impose. The policy does not apply to people associated with the UFC who are not fighters.

“The UFC Fighter Conduct Policy does not come close to ensuring that the offensive language and jokes will change,” said Deborah Tucker, Executive Director of the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence. 


Who:  Women’s Groups, Legislators and Advocates for Survivors of Sexual and Domestic Assault

What: Press Conference calling on State Assembly Members to vote “NO” on Assembly Bill 6506

When:  Tuesday, April 23, 1 p.m. EST

Where: LCA Press Room, Room 130, Legislative Office Building


Civil Rights, Women
Meet Michelle, cocktail server at the Cosmopolitan

My babies are the main reason that I am involved with the union. When I came to the Cosmo two years ago I was given hope that with our union recognition would come a timely contract and the Culinary union health insurance… the best health insurance. My oldest son was born prematurely and with a blood disorder and my newest addition was born with a congenital defect. 

We are all here for the same basic reasons and we are all making similar personal and economic sacrifices for this contract. 

I will sacrifice anything today to provide for my family tomorrow.

- Michelle Lisher

Cesar Chavez envisioned a world where all workers could have dignity in the workplace

It is a tremendous honor to accept the Champions of Change Award because the life and work of Cesar Chavez inspires me every day. Chavez's legacy continues on in the hundreds of thousands of workers who come together to demand justice. I am proud to call these men and women my union sisters and brothers.

When staying at a hotel, most people don't think about the housekeeper who made their bed, the kitchen worker who cleaned their plate, or the cook who prepared their meal. UNITE HERE has worked for decades to ensure these “invisible workers” and their basic needs – good healthcare, decent wages and job security -are not overlooked. The union has provided thousands of people the opportunity to provide better lives for themselves and their families. In Las Vegas, the Culinary Workers Local 226 has helped build the city's middle class. The union has focused on empowering its members to win their contracts and ultimately their future.

However, the work of the labor movement goes beyond the workplace. My work is centered on ensuring workers have a strong voice in their communities. I was lucky to land in Las Vegas as a neighborhood organizer during the 2010 elections. For most of five months, I spent every day knocking on doors and talking to voters in predominantly Latino neighborhoods. This gave me a clear understanding of local issues facing Las Vegans, including a weak education system and lackluster housing market. In my time at the union, I have been able to work with members and tackle these challenges head on.

During the 2011 Legislative session, Local 226 founded an organization called Nevada Students Unite Here. I directed a campaign to support education funding and prevent budget cuts. Our campaign led to over 8,000 contacts with students, parents, and union members who were deeply concerned with the issues. Ultimately, by working with community and political allies, we were able to guarantee that devastating cuts were not made to the education budget. It was tremendously empowering to represent our members and their families on such an important issue. As the Legislature convenes again this year, I am working on helping to pass legislation that protects underwater homeowners. I’m also focused on bills that will improve the quality of care in Nevada’s healthcare system.

The most important work I’m doing involves union members and immigration reform. As the daughter of immigrants, it is tremendously important for me that comprehensive reform be made a reality. It is easy to understand why UNITE HERE has been at the forefront of the immigration debate. My union represents workers from more than 100 countries. In Vegas alone there are workers from 84 nations. These members came in search of a better future; one with good jobs and opportunities for their families. Ten years ago, my union organized the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride as part of a national campaign for comprehensive reform. We have stood by the DREAMers, hosted DACA application fairs, and will do whatever it takes to support the Administration’s push for reform. I have the privilege of speaking to workers about the issue and mobilizing them into action.

Cesar Chavez envisioned a world where all workers, regardless of their job or nationality could have dignity in the workplace. By training union members to be leaders at work and in their communities, I believe UNITE HERE is making Chavez’s vision a reality.

- Yvanna Cancela, Political Director 

Get Connected