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Statement from Unite Here General President on Obama victory

05
Nov '08
Unite Here General President – Mr Bruce Raynor
Barack Obama's victory is a victory for working people across this country. Regardless of race, gender, religion, ethnicity, immigration status, sexual orientation – all working people have taken a giant step forward today.

Barack has renewed our faith in what is possible for those who are trying to stay in the middle class and for those who are seeking to become a part of the middle class.

With great vision, he talked with us about what he wants to accomplish for the American people. And with great candor, he called for every person to become engaged in the effort.

As the first labor union to endorse Barack, UNITE HERE took that call seriously. From the strength of our nearly one million members and retirees, we mobilized thousands to get out the vote in more than a dozen states. We knocked on more than 350,000 doors; and during this past weekend alone, we had more than 3,000 volunteers talking with voters in battleground states.

Barack's insight and leadership drive a policy agenda that supports those working people who have formed a union, as well as those who have not yet formed a union. He is committed to ensuring that working families have wages that enable them to put food on the table, cutting taxes for 95 percent of workers and their families, securing healthcare for all Americans, promoting fair trade and not “free trade” that sends good jobs overseas, defending the right of workers to freely join unions by passing the Employee Free Choice Act, establishing a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, fighting the growth of income inequality, and guaranteeing retirement security for all workers so that growing old does not mean growing poor.

With Barack's victory, as well as Democratic gains in both the House and the Senate, we can make real reforms to improve the lives of every union member in this country and every worker who wants a union.

To be sure, the current economic crisis will present great challenges. But we are inspired by the change that is possible. And we believe in Barack Obama - a man who understands the experiences of working people. A man who, more than twenty years ago, took a job as a community organizer in Chicago to fight for families devastated by steel plant closings – to fight for working people.

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

Unite Here


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