Nevada’s Powerful Culinary Union Won’t Endorse Before Caucus

February 14, 2020 by Dan McCue

Nevada’s powerful Culinary Workers Union, an early force in propelling Sen. Barack Obama toward the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008, said Thursday it will not endorse a candidate ahead of the state’s February 22 caucuses.

“We’re going to endorse our goals, what we’re doing — that’s what we’re going to endorse,” said  Geoconda Argüello-Kline, secretary-treasurer of the Culinary Workers Union, Local 226, during an afternoon news conference in Las Vegas.

The decision not to pick a candidate just days after the union lambasted “Medicare for All,” a central policy plank of Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., appears to create an opening for Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar, two moderate Democrats.

The announcement was something of a disappointment for former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who had hoped his opposition to “Medicare for all” and years-long ties to organized labor would win him its support and a boost in the state’s upcoming caucuses.

Instead, Argüello-Kline said the union would pursue three goals: seeking a living wage for all workers, preserving health care, and reforming the immigration system.

And while the union is sitting out the caucuses from an endorsement perspective, she said in the general election the union’s foremost goal will be defeating President Trump.

The Culinary Workers Union, or UNITE HERE Local 226, represents 60,000 hotel and restaurant workers in Las Vegas casinos, and claims to be the largest immigrant organization, with a membership representing 178 countries and speaking over 40 different languages.

The union boasts the state’s largest grassroots organizing force, with 350 workers phone banking and canvassing in the 2018 midterms.

In recent days the union has criticized Medicare for All, telling members that a single-payer, government-run health plan would force members off the union’s health trust fund that provides coverage for 130,000 workers and their families.

“Presidential candidates suggesting forcing millions of hard working people to give up their health care creates unnecessary division between workers, and will give us four more years of Trump,” the union said in an English- and Spanish-language one-page leaflet that went to workers.

That stance has put the union at odds with Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, whose supporters responded angrily to the distribution of the fliers.

Argüello-Kline said in a statement on Wednesday that supporters of Sanders had “viciously attacked” union members, and that the group was simply trying to share “facts on what certain health care proposals might do to take away the system of care we have built over eight decades.” 

2020 Elections

What They Are Saying About Justice Ginsburg and the Future of the Court
Supreme Court
What They Are Saying About Justice Ginsburg and the Future of the Court
September 19, 2020
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second woman appointed to the Supreme Court, has injected new uncertainty into the presidential election and set the stage for a bruising political battle in the nation's capital. Even as hundreds of people gathered Friday night... Read More

In The Battleground State of Michigan, Long Memories, New Dynamics
2020 Elections
In The Battleground State of Michigan, Long Memories, New Dynamics
September 19, 2020
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - The hallmark of a true battleground state is that any one of a variety of factors can come into play and make a sure bet in the weeks leading up to the vote an “also ran” on election night. In that respect Michigan in... Read More

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Dies at 87
Supreme Court
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Dies at 87

WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a diminutive yet towering women’s rights champion who became the court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington. She was 87. Ginsburg died of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer, the court said. Ginsberg’s death... Read More

Wanted: Poll Workers Able to Brave the Pandemic
In The News
Wanted: Poll Workers Able to Brave the Pandemic

WASHINGTON — Dave and Diane Schell, a retired social studies teacher and a retired human resources professional from South Windsor, Connecticut, left their careers in 2015, and have worked the polls at their local precinct every election since. But not this November. The Schells — he’s... Read More

Buttigieg’s ‘Win the Era’ PAC Endorses 28 Candidates
Political News
Buttigieg’s ‘Win the Era’ PAC Endorses 28 Candidates
September 18, 2020
by Reece Nations

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s “Win the Era PAC and Action Fund” has endorsed 28 candidates for various offices in the November elections. “I’m excited to announce our latest slate of endorsements, which include forward-thinking leaders across our country who are... Read More

Fixing Unemployment Insurance for Better Economic Recovery
Economy
Fixing Unemployment Insurance for Better Economic Recovery
September 18, 2020
by Kate Michael

WASHINGTON — Emergency expansions to Unemployment Insurance provided critical support to workers across the country during the early months of the pandemic. But the major component of these expansions, an additional $600 in weekly benefits, expired at the end of July. With lawmakers continuing to be... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top