Culinary Union celebrates 86 years of fighting for working families in Nevada

Las Vegas, NV –  The Culinary Union, a UNITE HERE local affiliate, was chartered on November 1, 1935. 2021 marks the 86th anniversary of an organization that has improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of Nevada hospitality workers and their families with union wages and benefits. In nearly nine decades, the Culinary Union is an essential economic institution and a strong political force in the Battle Born State.  The Culinary Union has won a middle-class standard of living for over 800,000 hospitality workers in 86 years through militant rank-and-file organizing and mass actions. Worker membership has risen from 18,000 in 1987 to 60,000 members today.   “Working families in Nevada are resilient because of the strength and sacrifices made by generations of Culinary Union members who come before us. In nearly nine decades, Nevada’s working families have seen many changes: From presidents and politicians, to casino buildings and corporations - our community is always evolving, and in spite of some incredible challenges, workers have built and maintained real power over 86 years,” said Geoconda Argüello-Kline, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union. “During the last 20 months, there is no other organization in Nevada that has done more to support working families during the pandemic than the Culinary Union. From fighting and winning extended health care benefits, keeping working families in their homes, providing essential food assistance daily, enforcing worker’s rights on-the-job, delivering Nevada for Biden/Harris and passing much-needed relief for Nevadans, ensuring workers are safe at work by passing the first and only-in-the-nation COVID worker safety law (SB4), and winning SB3866 in the Nevada Legislature so that hospitality workers have the Right to Return to their jobs as the economy recovers. “The Culinary Union is proud to have provided a comprehensive safety net for hospitality workers and their families at every step of the way throughout this entire crisis,” continued Geoconda Argüello-Kline. “Together we got through the hardest challenges our union and workers have faced in our lifetime and we know that if we remain united, we will come back stronger. We hold dear the 163 Culinary and Bartenders Union members and immediate family who passed away from COVID-19. May their memories be a blessing. As we remember the loved ones lost, the Culinary Union will carry on the work every day to make Nevada a place where working families continue to organize and win for our collective liberation.” The Culinary Union is Nevada’s largest Latinx/Black/AAPI/immigrant organization with members who are originally from 178 countries and speak over 40 different languages. The Culinary Union has a diverse membership which is 55% women and 45% immigrants. The demographics of Culinary Union members are approximately: 54% Latinx, 18% white, 15% Asian, 12% Black, and less than 1% Indigenous Peoples. Culinary Union members work as: Guest room attendants, cocktail and food servers, porters, bakers, bellmen, cooks, bartenders, laundry and kitchen workers.

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