Infobox Union
country= North America
affiliation= Change to Win Coalition, CLC
members= 465,000
full_name= UNITE HERE

founded= 2004
office= New York City
people= Bruce S. Raynor, president, John W. Wilhelm, president Hospitality
website= [http://www.unitehere.org/ www.unitehere.org]
UNITE HERE is a labor union with more than 465,000 active members in the United States and Canada, predominantly in the hotel, food service, apparel and textile manufacturing, laundry, warehouse, and casino gaming industries. The union was formed in 2004 by the merger of UNITE (formerly the Union of Needletrades, Industrial, and Textile Employees) and HERE (Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union).

The general president of UNITE HERE is Bruce S. Raynor, and the president of UNITE HERE's hospitality division is John W. Wilhelm. Wilhelm shares executive, budgetary, and personnel authority with Raynor.

In 2005, UNITE HERE withdrew from the AFL-CIO and joined the Change to Win Coalition, along with several other unions, including the Teamsters, SEIU and the UFCW. UNITE HERE Vice-President Edgar Romney was elected the first secretary-treasurer of the new labor federation.

Hotel bargaining

UNITE HERE has fought for substantial wage increases for workers in the traditionally low-paid hotel and tourism sector.

Major UNITE HERE hotel contracts in Toronto, New York City, Los Angeles, Boston, Honolulu and Chicago expired in 2006, raising the possibility of a multi-city strike to support the union's collective bargaining objectives. Contracts were settled in all cities -- including San Francisco, which had been expired since 2004 -- with the exception of Los Angeles.

Prominent celebrities such as actor Danny Glover, Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, Reverend Jesse Jackson, former U.S. Senator and Democratic Party Presidential candidate John Edwards, and current Democratic Party candidateBarack Obama have endorsed UNITE HERE's 2006 contract campaign.

Yale University

Since 1987, graduate student teaching assistants (TAs) at Yale University have been trying to organize a union, first affiliated with HERE and now with UNITE HERE. UNITE HERE represents two other groups of employees on campus: clerical and technical employees who are members of UNITE HERE Local 34, and service and maintenance employees who are members of UNITE HERE Local 35. The Yale TAs' organization is now called the Graduate Employees and Students Organization (GESO), and along with the other UNITE HERE locals at Yale, is affiliated to the Federation of Hospital and University Employees. To date, Yale has refused to recognize or bargain with GESO.

Political & Legal action

UNITE HERE has also been affiliated with various political causes, such as the anti-Iraq war and pro-immigration rights movements. On May 6th UNITE HERE sanctioned affiliation with a pro - immigration rally (which followed the "Day Without a Mexican" protest) in Malcolm X Park in Washington, DC. The union also participates in protests against the Iraq war.

See also

*Culinary Workers Union
*Hotel Workers Rising
*Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union (HERE)
*Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees (UNITE)
*Change to Win Federation
*Mike Casey

External links

* [http://www.unitehere.org/ UNITE HERE International Union]
* [http://www.unitehere.ca/ UNITE HERE Canada]
* [http://www.hotelworkersrising.org/ Hotel Workers Rising] (2006 contract campaign website)
*Harold Meyerson, [http://www.prospect.org/web/page.ww?section=root&name=ViewWeb&articleId=7233 "United Front,"] American Prospect 2/27/04
*Harold Meyerson, [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/17/AR2006011700936.html "Taking On The Hotels,"] Washington Post 1/18/2006
* [http://www.yaleunions.org/ Federation of Hospital & University Employees] (association of unions at Yale University)

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