STATEMENT by Geoconda Argüello-Kline:
The Culinary Union is Nevada’s union and largest immigrant organization with members who come from 178 countries and speak over 40 different languages. Our union is comprised of majority women, and we are proud to have changed the lives of over 800,000 hospitality workers in 85 years through rank-and-file organizing and mass actions.
Culinary Union members are empowered to engage in democracy – whether at the bargaining table, while canvassing in neighborhoods, or on the streets in the desert heat – we fight for workers across Nevada, union and non-union alike.
We have welcomed Senator Bernie Sanders into our union for a town hall with Culinary Union members, and we hosted tours of the Culinary Health Center and the Culinary Academy of Las Vegas with Senator Sanders, to show what we have fought for and won.
Our union believes that everyone has the right to good healthcare and that healthcare should be a right, not a privilege. We have already enacted a vision for what working people need – and it exists now. Workers should have the right to choose to keep the healthcare Culinary Union members have built, sacrificed for, and went on strike for 6 years, 4 months, and 10 days to protect.
It’s disappointing that Senator Sanders’ supporters have viciously attacked the Culinary Union and working families in Nevada simply because our union has provided facts on what certain healthcare proposals might do to take away the system of care we have built over 8 decades.
We have always stood up for what we believe in and will continue to do so. The Culinary Union has faced some of the toughest companies who wanted to break our union, and even the President of the United States Donald Trump – and won.
Together, we will figure out the best way to fix healthcare in America, and the Culinary Union is committed to fighting until we win for everyone.
ABOUT THE CULINARY UNION:
Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165, Nevada affiliates of UNITE HERE, represent 60,000 workers in Las Vegas and Reno, including at most of the casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip and in Downtown Las Vegas. UNITE HERE represents 300,000 workers in gaming, hotel, and food service industries in North America.
The Culinary Union, through the Culinary Health Fund, is one of the largest healthcare consumers in the state. The Culinary Health Fund is sponsored by the Culinary Union and Las Vegas-area employers. It provides health insurance coverage for over 130,000 Nevadans, the Culinary Union’s members and their dependents.
The Culinary Union is Nevada’s largest immigrant organization with members who come from 178 countries and speak over 40 different languages. We are proud to have helped over 18,000 immigrants become American citizens and new voters since 2001 through our affiliate, The Citizenship Project.
The Culinary Union has a diverse membership — approximately 55% women, 54% Latinx, 19% White, 15% Asian, 10% Black, and less than 1% Indigenous Peoples — and consists of guest room attendants, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, bartenders, laundry and kitchen workers. The Culinary Union has been fighting for fair wages, job security, and good health benefits for workers in Nevada for 85 years.