Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017|2 a.m.
Editor’s note: As he does every August, Brian Greenspun is spending some time off and is turning over his Where I Stand column to others. Today’s guest columnist is D. Taylor, president of UNITE HERE, the North American union that represents over 270,000 workers and over a million of their family members in the hospitality, culinary, food service, and transportation sectors.
I believe in America, in equality and in the women and men who strive and play by the rules to provide a better life for themselves and their household.
So with summer ending and Labor Day simply around the corner, it appears the correct time to take a look at the state of arranged labor and the distinction having a union can make in the life of normal Nevadans and Americans. When employees organize, they take their fate into their collective hands and seize the best opportunity of achieving the American imagine success and justice.
Because its high-water mark in the 1950s, subscription in unions has actually slowly declined as income injustice grew and laws were passed limiting the liberty of Americans to organize for a voice at work. Today, with the cards stacked against them, far fewer workers are arranged, and financial oppression runs deep through our nation– a sensation numerous have actually of being left behind or getting involved meaninglessly in a system rigged versus them. The truth is, the catastrophic boost in economic injustice in this nation is a direct outcome of the attack on the rights of workers to have a say in their wages, hours and working conditions. By organizing a worker union at their location of work, workers start to straight affect and fight income inequality.
I’m proud that my union, JOIN HERE, is growing, not passing away: In fact, UNITE HERE is the single fastest-growing economic sector union in the AFL-CIO. And as we grow, we are changing lives and closing the income inequality space.
Only 8 months into 2017, we’ve already set a record for the largest growth of our membership in our union’s history. It defies traditional knowledge that the employee motion is not needed or cannot win: We’re organizing workers in every area of the hospitality world, from right here in Nevada to the Deep South in states like Mississippi, to Silicon Valley consisting of winning the union at Facebook this summer season. At Facebook, among the most lucrative businesses on the planet, cafeteria workers were so inadequately paid that many were homeless and sleeping in their cars prior to they chose to unionize. Now, those employees are our members and they have a seat at the table to choose their pay and benefits. We’re winning unions in airports, hotels and casinos throughout America, and we’re raising the requirements and increasing earnings for all workers in cities where we’re organizing.
Whenever employees vote to form a union, they are raising the standards of pay and working conditions for all workers in that city. Organizing together means taking the power back from corporations and leveling the playing field. That’s why with a national housekeeper median pay of barely over $9 an hour, UNIFY HERE housemaids throughout the nation make up to $22 an hour plus advantages in numerous cities.
Why are we being so effective, swimming against the tide of attacks on employee rights? I think it is because we have actually struck a chord that average Americans throughout all industries deeply feel: that getting a larger slice of the pie is achieved by salaries and advantages, and it’s also in quality of life, affordable health care and strong political representation.
Workers feel the difference our union is making in their lives.
JOIN HERE both in Nevada and throughout the country is putting power back in the hands of the employees by resolving all points of injustice in a revolutionarily wholesale method: opening advanced, full service health centers from Las Vegas to New York City with night and weekend hours, where you can see a dental professional, get a prescription filled and get new glasses all in a single stop. In Chicago and Seattle, we are winning brand-new policies securing our primarily female house cleaners from sexual attacks at work. In Orlando, we’re helping qualified workers end up being complete American people. Here in Las Vegas, UNITE HERE affiliate Cooking 226 mobilized thousands of hotel and casino employees to talk to their neighbors about the 2016 elections — winning Democratic control of the state legislature and sending the first Latina to the U.S Senate, and later the first-in-the-nation insulin rates expense signed this year. To attain true equality, our union is engaging with our members and their neighborhoods in all areas of life to repair and remove the hurdles that truly hold us back.
A union needs to provide for its members, due to the fact that enabled the option, employers put revenues for investors before fairness for employees. In earnings, in health care, in human self-respect on the job, in political power, UNITE HERE provides. It takes the full toolkit available in our fantastic nation to equip our members to not just survive, however thrive. No full-time American worker needs to live in poverty or be not able to afford his or her standard survival, and the very best opportunity to achieve employee justice is through taking the future into your collective hands. That is the American method. That is exactly what we are defending. I believe this Labor Day, we ought to all celebrate the hard work of all working people– immigrant or native born– we all look for to live the American Dream.
As our union has actually demonstrated, Labor Day is every day and we aim to continue to grow, flourish and continue to make America the land of chance and economic improvement.