From Pandemic to Politics: Culinary Union hustles the hurdles!

By Ricardo Sia and Dermiel Robles

PHOENIX, ARIZONA “The Culinary Union, the strongest in the Battle Born State, is mobilising tens of thousands of hospitality workers throughout Nevada to vote and elect candidates who will fight for our families.” 

This is how  Geoconda Argüello-Kline, Treasurer-Secretary of the Culinary Union described how they will ensure that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris get the nod of the state of Nevada. Known as an oasis for fun-loving and adventurous visitors, the “City of Entertainment” has been devastated by the pandemic and is thrown into a debilitating slump since March 2020 after the virus claimed its first victim in Las Vegas and the COVID19 scare spread like wildfire. It was recorded in August that the unemployment rate in the state of Nevada hit 13.2% compared to 8.4% at the national level, prompting hundreds of thousands of residents filing for unemployment benefits.

Among the first to react and respond at the onset of the crisis is the Culinary Union mindful of the dire effects it would have on the gaming and tourism industry where almost all of their members depend on to get their living. Immediately, the Union mobilizes its resources to call on the government to create measures to safeguard and protect the workers and visitors. On May 12, a vehicular protest was organized by the Union which flooded the strip of Las Vegas demanding information on reopening of establishment and adoption of the health guidelines which the Union drafted by the Nevada Gaming Control Board. Now, with the same resolve and vigor, the Culinary Union is hellbent on driving Trump out of office. Nevada has not elected a Republican president since George Bush in 2004 and Democrats winning only with a slight margin one hard-fought victory after another.
“Donald Trump is a threat to the livelihood of workers and our families. Since August 1st, canvassers have been in the streets knocking on doors, talking to voters, and getting out the vote for Biden-Harris. Every political effort draws from the Culinary Union’s 85-years of rich knowledge of effective voter contact, which is rooted in the principle of working people talking to each other about the importance of building power through voting,” she continued.
In his second swing through Nevada, Donald Trump is behind Biden by 6%, a gap the Culinary Union intends to widen.
“Nothing is promised,” said Bethany Khan,  the Union’s communications director. “That’s why the Culinary Union is running the largest political effort we have ever run,” she added.
Culinary Union is in solidarity with AFL-CIO, AFSCME, AFT, UFCW among others that represent America’s workers, to call on Congress to adopt America’s Five Economic Essentials as the centerpiece of future legislation.
1. Keep America healthy – protect and expand health insurance for all workers.
2. Keep frontline workers safe and secure.
3. Keep workers employed and protect earned pension checks.
4. Keep public schools going, the Postal Service solvent, state, and the local government running.
5. Keep America competitive – hire people to build infrastructures. CPM

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