FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—FRIDAY, September 22
Miami, FL– On Friday morning, September 22, 150 union housekeepers, cooks, dishwashers, airport concessions workers, servers, and bellmen gathered at their Leadership Summit to speak about the difficult economic situation workers are facing and their plan to raise the standard for hospitality workers in South Florida.
At this event the union formally endorsed Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. Wendi Walsh, Secretary-Treasurer of UNITE HERE Local 355 said, “We are immensely proud to have a mayor who not only understands us but also stands shoulder to shoulder with our members as a true partner. We are proud to endorse Mayor Daniella once again as we continue to work together toward a more affordable, thriving, and worker-friendly Miami-Dade County.”
The mayor was introduced by Maria Sanchez, Food Plater at Sky Chefs saying why she’s fighting for a raise and supporting the mayor in her reelection, “I work 40 hours a week and can’t pay all my bills. Since leaving Cuba, my American Dream never happened. I can’t buy a house or live making $16.10. Last year alone, my rent went up $900! In difficult times it’s important to know we have a strong leader that support us. When the pandemic happened, we knew we needed real leadership. I knocked on Latino voters’ doors, with my coworkers, fulltime for 3 months to elect Daniella Levine Cava our new County Mayor. I’m proud our union has decided to support Mayor Levine Cava again!”
Workers and unions are under continued state-level attack. Last year, the Florida Legislature considered a bill repealing local living wage ordinances – taking dollars directly out of workers’ pockets – which was defeated due to successful union advocacy. As Florida has become the inflation hotspot of the country, working people are facing unprecedented challenges. Now more than ever, we need solutions, support, and pro-union leadership to navigate these tough economic times.
“I am deeply honored to once again receive the endorsement of UNITE HERE Local 355. Over the last three years, our county government has made significant progress in supporting working people and their families. Yet, there remains much more work ahead to further improve their lives,” says Mayor Levine Cava. “Together, we will continue to defend workers’ rights and build a more equitable Miami-Dade with an economy that works for everybody.”
UNITE HERE Local 355 is the hospitality workers’ union in South Florida, representing 6,000 workers in hotels, airports, restaurant, stadiums, and casinos.