TAMPA, Fla. – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday welcomed an endorsement from four UNITE HERE locals, which represent more than 19,000 hotel, casino and food service workers in Northern California.
“It is an honor to receive the endorsement of hotel and restaurant workers in Northern California,” Sanders said. “This campaign is building a movement of millions of Americans who are demanding that our economy works for everyone, not just the top one percent. The UNITE HERE locals in Northern California are an important part of this movement which is spreading to every corner of our country. I am grateful for their support.”
Northern California’s UNITE HERE members clean hotel rooms, cook and serve food in restaurants, airports and ballparks and staff casinos. Most are women, immigrants and people of color, who have been hit hard by the region’s spiraling income inequality, crippling health care costs and frequent attacks on low-wage workers’ rights.
“Bernie Sanders is the best candidate for working people and the middle class,” said Robert Flatt, a cook at Thunder Valley Casino and member of UNITE HERE Local 49. “He believes in equal pay for women, expanding Social Security and raising the minimum wage. He supports bills that make it easier for workers to form unions and have a voice in their workplace.”
“As a working-class African-American man, I’m supporting Bernie Sanders because he’s the only one who is talking about fundamental change in our economic system,” said Johnny Stake, a stand worker at the Oakland Coliseum and member of UNITE HERE Local 2850. “We cannot continue to accept incremental increases in our income. We need a qualitative leap – or else we’ll be doomed to continue living paycheck to paycheck. Plus, I knew Bernie was cool when I saw a picture of him when he was younger, protesting in the streets for civil rights for Black people.”