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Press Center

For Immediate Release
January 9, 2009
Eric Sharfstein, UNITE HERE
212-332-9373 or 347-564-4899,

Statement on Rep. Hilda Solis Confirmation Hearing from UNITE HERE General President Bruce Raynor:

At long last, the Bush Administration’s love affair with CEOs will soon come to an end. Its complicity in the growing income inequality in this country will soon come to an end. And its total failure to help workers gain a voice in their workplace will soon come to an end.

It’s strange when you think about it, really. A CEO would never agree to work without a contract guaranteeing his or her pay and benefits in writing. And yet, workers in this country suffered through an administration that did not think they deserve a contract. That ends on January 20th.

In an extremely challenging economic crisis, Americans need a Secretary of Labor who will stand with them and help build an economy that works for all working people. Congresswoman Hilda Solis comes from a union family and has been a leader in Congress on the issues important not only to union members, and not only to the 60 million Americans who would like to form a union, but to all workers. Her values have guided her in a fight for higher wages, better benefits, safer workplaces, and equal rights. It’s those values that informed her decision to sponsor the Employee Free Choice Act as a means of protecting and expanding the middle class. The legislation would give every American a shot at the American Dream.

UNITE HERE is very proud of its history with Congresswoman Solis. At our events, she is known as an honorary shop steward—a symbol of the respect she has earned throughout our decades-long working relationship. She has walked numerous picket lines with us in Southern California. Our members have worked on every single Solis campaign. And, when she ran for Congress, UNITE HERE was the first union to endorse her.

Congresswoman Solis’ deep understanding of workers’ issues comes from years of personal and professional experience. Her commitment to addressing those issues will help expand economic opportunity and protect workers’ rights across this country.

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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