Unite Here!

Dear Labor Leader,

Last summer our union, UNITEHERE Local 1, went on strike at 26 hotels.  As a leader I learned many lessons. I learned that a strike changes everything, and quickly. I learned that a strike binds our members together like nothing else ever will   And I learned even more about what a wonderful labor movement we have in Chicago.

So many union members and leaders picketed, offered Union halls for negotiations, lent us rats, spoke at rallies, marched with us… it changed our Union forever. However, there was one story that I thought had not been told, and that was how members of other Unions respected the picket lines.

During the strike I spoke with Union members and their leaders, and I’d heard some stories of other Unions respecting our strike. But in order to teach our members what the Union really is in this city, we decided to make a video. We wanted to interview members from other Unions who worked at the same hotels who had respected our strike lines.

We reached out to many of you and scheduled as many interviews as possible. Unfortunately, it was impossible to schedule and include everyone.

Our friend Richie Ross produced the video, conducted the interviews, oversaw the editing, and took extra care on this project.  There are so many things I could say, but I want the video to say them to you.

This is a Chicago story, a Union story, and if I used a word or words besides solidarity (which sometimes feels overused) I’d says it’s a believe in something/stick together/love story.

Thank you for all you do.