What is UNITE HERE?
UNITE (formerly the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees) and HERE (Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union) merged on July 8, 2004 forming UNITE HERE. The union represents more than 450,000 active members and more than 400,000 retirees throughout North America.
UNITE HERE boasts a diverse membership, comprised largely of immigrants and including high percentages of African-American, Latino, and Asian-American workers. The majority of UNITE HERE members are women.
Organizing the unorganized in our industries is the top priority for UNITE HERE. Over 50% of the new Union’s national budget will go toward organizing. Current major organizing campaigns are underway at Cintas, Hilton, H&M, and the gaming industry. In the past five years, the two unions have organized more than 100,000 new members.
- apparel and textile manufacturing, apparel distribution centers, and apparel retail
- industrial laundries
- airport concessions
Major UNITE HERE Employers:
- Boyd Gaming
- Brooks Brothers
- Caesars Entertainment
- Harrah's Entertainment
- Levi Strauss
- Liz Claiborne
- Mandalay Resorts
- National Linen
- Walt Disney World Company
- Wynn Resorts
UNITE and HERE have proud histories of improving working conditions, wages, and benefits across the U.S. and Canada through successful organizing. Both unions are known throughout the labor movement for innovative and effective campaigns utilizing corporate campaign strategies and impressive grassroots mobilization of workers and community allies. Through organizing, UNITE HERE members have made apparel jobs in the South, hotel housekeeping jobs in Las Vegas, and hundreds of thousands of other traditionally low-wage jobs into good, family-sustaining, middle class jobs.
Some highlights for both Unions include:
- UNITE organized the JP Stevens campaign, which resulted in victory in 1980 after a 17 year struggle and was depicted in the Oscar winning film "Norma Rae."
- HERE boasts one of the fastest growing private sector Local Unions in the US " Local 226 in Las Vegas which has grown through an effective organizing program from 10,000 members in 1987 to 50,000 today. HERE also won the Frontier strike in Las Vegas , one of the longest strikes in U.S. history l asting six and a half years; no one crossed the line and all strikers got their jobs back with seniority and back pension service credits.
- UNITE created the "Behind the Label" campaign as part of its efforts in the global anti-sweatshop movement.
- HERE organized the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride in 2003, a historic, nationwide event that mobilized tens of thousands of immigrant workers and their allies to educate Americans about the contributions and struggles of immigrant workers in the United States.
Finally, UNITE HERE leaders have participated in groundbreaking labor-management partnerships, working together with employers to resolve issues in the workplace and in the relevant industry more broadly. Both Unions can boast excellent working relationships with several major companies.
Bruce Raynor, General President
John Wilhelm, President/Hospitality Industries