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Unite Here National Executive Board Votes To Remain Unified
Date 09/02/11/03:41

Re: Unite Here National Executive Board Votes To Remain Unified "Will Not Permit Bruce Raynor To Split The Union"
From: Pilar Weiss

UNITE HERE International Union
Statement by John W. Wilhelm, President-Hospitality Industry

Today, the General Executive Board of UNITE HERE voted by a substantial 62% to 38% margin to remain unified. The General Executive Board, which is our Union’s highest governing body after the Convention, voted to stop an undemocratic attempt to break up our Union that had not been sanctioned by our rank-and-file members across theU.S. and Canada. I am proud that today the General Executive Board of UNITE HERE affirmed that we are a strong Union and that together we will continue to fight for a strong voice for all working people across North America.

We believe the merger that created UNITE HERE made sense in 2004 and we believe it makes sense today. The merger has improved our members’ lives and has strengthened our Union in all of its industries. The merger has not worked for Bruce Raynor because he believes that the Union is his personal property and wants to rule it as an absolute dictatorship.

Labor unions, like any other entity attempting to govern itself democratically and for the common good of its members, may at times may face difficult challenges. However, we are a membership organization with democratic processes. We have elected leadership bodies, we have a Constitution, and we have a Convention. When there are disputes or disagreements, these bodies serve as the core of our Union’s democracy.

Last November, Bruce Raynor told me that since he cannot win at our members’ Convention in June 2009, he planned “to start the war now.” Just moments ago, Raynor called members of our Executive Board “jerks” for resisting his call to split the Union. The disrespect Raynor shows our governing body of elected leaders is the same disrespect he shows the members of our union in his attempt to trample on their rights and futures.

I am proud that today a large majority of our General Executive Board voted to remain unified. We will not permit Bruce Raynor to split the Union by creating chaos and internal destruction. We will not allow for undemocratic attempts to takeover or split our Union. Instead, we will restore a democratic Union, a Union that fights for strong standards for our current members and a Union that fights to organize workers across North America.

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