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Press Center

For Immediate Release
January 16, 2009
Eric Sharfstein

UNITE HERE to Launch UNITE HERE for Change
Inaugural Events Nationwide to Celebrate Victory and Mobilize Members


New York – On January 20th, UNITE HERE will launch its UNITE HERE for Change campaign, an effort to work with President Obama and Congress to make real progress on jobs, health care, immigration, and the right of every worker to form a union.

“Our members mobilized to elect Barack Obama and this new Congress,” said UNITE HERE General President Bruce Raynor. “It will be the actions of our members - and millions of other people who work hard every day – that will move the President and Congress to take positive action to turn around our economy and make it work for all Americans.”

In seventeen cities across the country, including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Indianapolis, UNITE HERE members will be attending Inauguration Day parties to kick-off the UNITE HERE for Change campaign.

“We are in the midst of an economic crisis and thousands of workers in every industry are losing their jobs,” said Noel Beasley, UNITE HERE Executive Vice President – Chicago and Midwest Regional Joint Board. “Now is the time for us to renew our efforts for change. Now is the time for us to join forces - labor, religious, environmental, immigrant rights, and social justice organizations – to stem the tide of home foreclosures, to protect and create good jobs with health and pension benefits, to reform immigration policy, and to pass the Employee Free Choice Act to make it easier for workers to form a union. The challenge of saving jobs and the challenge of saving our economy are one and the same.”

For more information, visit

On January 9, 2008, UNITE HERE became the first union to endorse Barack Obama for President. In the eight weeks before Election Day, more than 300 members from across the country campaigned full-time in the battleground states of Nevada, Wisconsin, Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indiana. Hundreds more volunteered their time on weekends and after work to help the campaign.

“After experiencing the hardships of plant closings, I knew I had to do something to help get our country back on a track where workers and their families are valued,” said Josh Smith, UNITE HERE member from Norwalk, Ohio. “I saw Obama as a candidate who could make that happen and I saw an opportunity through my union to help elect him.”

UNITE HERE is a labor union representing 465,000 workers in the hotel, food service, gaming, laundry, apparel and textile industries.


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