Arts & Culture, Interview

A brief chat w/ Carlos Aramayo President of UNITE HERE Local 26 ahead of their Happy Hour for COVID Relief TONIGHT (12/18)

Join Billy Bragg, Downtown Boys, JP Honk and more to raise money for hospitality workers hit hard during the ongoing pandemic.


Join in the fun and support UNITE HERE Local 26 by tuning into their Happy Hour for Covid Relief TONIGHT!

Dan Shea:

This event is a great way to raise more awareness for LOCAL 26 and the many workers you all represent who are being negatively affected by the ongoing pandemic. Let’s raise some money in support! In what other ways can interested individuals support Local 26?

Carlos Aramayo:
These donations really matter. We love that people are stepping up and donating to our hardship fund. Hospitality workers are facing very tough times right now and every penny of the money raised will go to help workers in our industry. That said, there is plenty of things people can do to help hospitality workers. The Massachusetts state legislature is taking up a bill in January that would protect hotel workers’ jobs after the pandemic ends. Also, future stimulus money from Washington may benefit hospitality workers, so contacting your US Senator or Representative to encourage relief for workers in these industries can really make a difference.

How did this Happy Hour come together? Might there be more in the future?

Hospitality workers welcome people to our region for a living. They make people feel at home when they are away from home and generally show their guests a great time. Since we’ve been trying to raise money for workers in need we thought it would be great to show off their amazing skills. From making beds to signature cocktails, hospitality workers make everyone feel welcome.

We also thought it would be a great opportunity to bring together some of our greatest supporters over the past decade. We are so happy that Billy Bragg and the Downtown Boys stepped up to help, not to mention our amazing Senator Ed Markey and Representative Ayanna Presley.

We’ll see how this goes, but it’s been fun to pull this together. Maybe we’ll do it again for spring fling!

How have the states (since you represent MA and RI) been in working with you to try to protect hospitality jobs and to ensure that lost jobs return once covid is finally put behind us whenever that may be? Coming at this with great ignorance, does either state have a more sympathetic approach to the situation at hand?

Great question. The Providence City council passed an ordinance this fall (the so-called “Yes to the Comeback”) that guarantees hospitality workers will get their jobs back if they are recreated any time in the next two years. In Mass, the state needs to take this action because of the Commonwealth’s constitution. We have had a lot of State reps and senators express support and Representative Decker and Senator Boncore will be introducing a bill in the new year. We’re hopeful Mass will follow Providence’s lead and give hospitality workers the peace of mind that their jobs will still be there for them once all of this is behind us.

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