STATEMENT by Geoconda Argüello-Kline regarding Juneteenth



Friday, June 19th, 2020 


Bethany Khan: ▪ (702) 387-7088

STATEMENT by Geoconda Argüello-Kline regarding Juneteenth:

As a union that is the largest organization of Black workers in Nevada, we say unequivocally that Black Lives Matter and want to encourage Nevadans to celebrate the end of slavery in the United States and to support Black-owned businesses today.

Celebrated annually on June 19th, Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration of the end of slavery in the United States. Nevada played an important role in bringing about the end of slavery when it joined the Union during the Civil War and supported the ratification of the 13th Amendment. 

On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers led by General Gordon Granger landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the Civil War had ended and that “in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.” This occurred over two years after President Lincoln’s issued the Emancipation Proclamation.


Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165, Nevada affiliates of UNITE HERE, represent 60,000 workers in Las Vegas and Reno, including at most of the casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip and in Downtown Las Vegas. UNITE HERE represents 300,000 workers in gaming, hotel, and food service industries in North America. 

The Culinary Union, through the Culinary Health Fund, is one of the largest healthcare consumers in the state. The Culinary Health Fund is sponsored by the Culinary Union and Las Vegas-area employers. It provides health insurance coverage for over 145,000 Nevadans, the Culinary Union’s members and their dependents.  

The Culinary Union is Nevada’s largest immigrant organization with members who come from 178 countries and speak over 40 different languages. We are proud to have helped over 18,000 immigrants become American citizens and new voters since 2001 through our affiliate, The Citizenship Project. 

The Culinary Union has a diverse membership -- approximately 55% women, 54% Latinx, 19% White, 15% Asian, 10% Black, and less than 1% Indigenous Peoples — and consists of guest room attendants, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, bartenders, laundry and kitchen workers. The Culinary Union has been fighting for fair wages, job security, and good health benefits for workers in Nevada for 85 years. / @Culinary226 


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