Features, Law and Politics, National

Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Threats Feed UNITE HERE Organizing

November 10, 2017

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

WASHINGTON—Donald Trump’s threats against immigrants may have backfired in at least one way: UNITE HERE leaders say they have encouraged hotel workers to see joining the union as a way to protect themselves. About 12,000 new members have signed up so far this year, spokesperson Rachel Gumpert told In These Times, making 2017 the hotel, food, and casino workers’ union’s best year for organizing in recent memory. “Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric, and more importantly his anti-immigrant policies, have galvanized immigrant workers to take action to secure basic protections for themselves and their families,” she said. “In the workplace, this means unionizing.” UNITE HERE is now the fastest-growing union in the AFL-CIO, with 285,000 members, up from 264,000 in 2015. So far this year, it has added cafeteria workers at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.; about 500 workers at the Hilton Riverside Hotel in New Orleans; and workers at four hotels in the Los Angeles area, including, after a 15-year campaign, the Santa Monica Doubletree. Anti-Trump sentiment in Southern California’s large population of Latino workers “is definitely providing a boost” to organizing, said Local 11 spokesperson Andrew Cohen. Read more

November 10, 2017

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