Delegates Election

On May 13,2014 Local 355 members came together for their Quarterly Membership Meeting and Nomination and Election of Delegates to the International Union’s Convention.  Membership Meetings are held every three months and are a great opportunity for members to learn, understand and participate in the growth of their Union.  During this meeting we discussed the state of the Union’s finances and the plan to fight for and grow our member’s healthcare through actions in upcoming negotiations.

After the regular business of the Union the Election Committee entertained a motion to open the floor for nominations for Delegates and Alternates to the International Union Convention which will be held in Boston from June 25-27th.  Nominations were held in both the morning and the evening meetings.  Delegates and alternates were nominated to fill the appropriate number of spots allotted to our Local no election was necessary and the Election Committee Chair, Winston Garvey, cast a single ballot electing the following leaders delegates and alternates for Local 355. 


  • Wendi Walsh, Secretary Treasurer, Local 355
  • Rose Metellus Denis, President, Local 355
  • Joanne Jacques, Delaware North Co., FLL
  • Cruz Pena, Sky Chefs
  • Rick Sanchez, Fontainebleau Miami Beach
  • Patricia Pierre, HMS HOST MIA
  • Denia Fernandez, HMS HOST MIA
  • Kandiz Lamb, Vice President, Local 355
  • Patrick Volcin, Recording Secretary, Local 355
  • Rachelle Laurent, Westin Diplomat Hotel
  • Omar Williams, Isle of Capri


  • Maria Luisa Perez, Master Concession Air MIA
  • Joyce Shaw, Hudson News FLL
  • Mirela Ivan, Westin Diplomat Hotel

Congratulations to everyone!

A special thanks to the Elections Committee for their time and commitment throughout this process.  

  • Winston Garvey, Chair, SKY CHEFS
  • Irma Fenelus, HMS HOST MIA
  • Daniel Seymour, HMS HOST MIA
  • Eduardo Tartarini, Miami Beach Resort

Westin Diplomat Workers win a new Union Contract!


Over 600 workers at the Westin Diplomat Hotel, a Starwood property, in Hallandale Beach fought for, won, and ratified an amazing contract.   Workers signed numerous petitions, went on delegations to their managers and Human Resources, and showed determination to win and push over the finish line.

This renewed contract includes wage increases for all classifications, continued employer paid healthcare, improved working conditions and other continued improvements for the duration of this contract.    

Special Congratulations to the negotiating committee for their hard work, commitment and determination to keep moving their co-workers to victory!

¡Si Se Puede! Wi Nou Kapab! Yes We Can!

South Florida Rallies for Fair Immigration Reform

immigrationOn June 20, over 100 hospitality and service industry workers and their children, along with UNITE HERE Local 355 and community organizations, rallied in Miami to protest Senator Rubio’s lack of leadership on immigration reform. Dozens of children and parents held signs and called on Senator Rubio to work toward to a fair and comprehensive immigration policy. Andres Duran Cruz, a steward at the Isle Casino in Pompano Beach, said: “The sons and daughters of service workers and immigrant families have a strong message for Senator Rubio. We say, like him, we are the children of service workers. And like him, we are the children of immigrants.”

South Florida hotel workers at new St. Regis Hotel Bal Harbor organize their union

balharborOn Tuesday, October 30, employees at the new St. Regis Bal Harbor, located a few blocks north of Miami Beach, became members of UNITE HERE Local 355, South Florida’s hospitality and tourism workers union. The St. Regis workers will now begin negotiating their first contract.  With the union certification and acknowledgement by St. Regis management, the hotel becomes the fourth union hotel in South Florida. Suzette Annakie, housekeeping room attendant, “I feel proud of myself,proud of my co-workers, proud to have accomplished a goal I set out to win.  Now we have the next task in front of us, but I know we will win because we are united.” Members now join their hotel colleagues at the famed Fontainebleau Hotel, the Miami Beach Resort and the Westin Diplomat located in Hallandale Beach. The count was conducted by Fr. Alejandro Roque from the St. Stephen’s Catholic Church in Miramar.

Mardi Gras 10: March for Freedom, Not Fear

On May 8, more than 500 people will marched  to support the 10 worker-leaders fired during an organizing drive last November at Mardi Gras Casino in Florida. Those who planned to be arrested included fired workers from Mardi Gras Casino, clergy, community leaders, and workers from UNITE HERE! Local 355. The rally comes a week after the National Labor Relations Board filed complaints against the casino operators claiming, among other things, that management “threatened to discharge employees if they engaged in union activities or protected concerted activities.” The rally and civil disobedience participants have come together under the banner of the Florida Freedom Charter, a joint-community and labor effort to address the critical issues and challenges facing Florida’s working families.

Click here to read the press release.

Read the press coverage:

National Labor Relations Board Files Formal Complaint Against Mardi Gras Casino

mardigras2Following a thorough, four-month investigation, the National Labor Relations Board’s counsel in Miami has filed a formal complaint against the operators of the Mardi Gras Casino in Hallandale, Florida. The complaint comes after 10 workers who were leaders of a union organizing drive were fired in November 2011.

The complaint asserts, among other things, that management interrogated its employees about their union involvement and their coworkers’ union involvement and threatened employees with termination and other retaliations if they were to join the union. Further, the complaint charges that the operators of Mardi Gras Casino created the impression that employees were under surveillance and management implied promised benefits to employees who “refrained from engaging in union activities.”

As one of the proposed remedies, the Board’s General Counsel is also seeking an Order requiring that the 10 workers fired last November during the beginnings of an organizing drive receive full back pay. Mardi Gras must respond to this complaint on or before May 14, 2012.

“This is a huge victory for me personally, for our organizing at Mardi Gras, and for any worker who is strong enough to stand up for what she believes,” said Tashana McKenzie, a slot attendant who is one of those workers whom NLRB Counsel says was illegally fired at the casino. “This is also a victory for the thousands of our supporters across the country.”

The 10 workers were fired last November shortly after workers at the casino started to organize to join UNITE HERE, a union that represents more than 150,000 gaming and hospitality workers across the country. Workers have rallied community support around the region through a Facebook page, “Bring Back the Mardi Gras 10.”(

Fr. Richard Aguilar, and Episcopal priest and supporter of the Mardi Gras 10, was pleased to hear about the federal complaint. “In the past few weeks, many of us in the faith community have prayed and discussed the importance of this fight: what it means to our congregations, what it means to the community and what it means to the thousands of disenfranchised minority workers in our tourism based economy. I’m proud to support the Mardi Gras 10 and a new vision for Florida.”

The complaint comes less than a week before UNITE HERE Local 355, the union which represents over 5,400 hotel, airport, stadium, and casino workers in South Florida, will conduct a major rally and march in support of the workers at Mardi Gras and to promote the tenets of the Florida Freedom Charter. The march on May 8 will begin at BF James Park in Hallandale at 6pm and end in front of Mardi Gras Casino.