As working people organizing to build a world of peace and justice, we condemn the brutal Israeli aggression in Gaza since October 7 of last year. We know that we cannot win real freedom in a world of genocide and imperial violence and are committed to solidarity with working people the world over.

To date, more than 30,000 Palestinians lay dead, some 12,000 of whom are children.

Over 70,000 people are injured and thousands more are still considered missing, trapped under leveled buildings, likely dead. Millions have been displaced from their homes and have nowhere to shelter. There is little access to healthcare, clean water, or food. The Israeli military with the full backing and financial support of the United States government has made Gaza unlivable.

That the lives of so many Palestinians, including so many children, can be so devalued is an injustice that we relate to as working class people, overwhelmingly Black, Brown and women, in the United States and especially in Philadelphia. Many of us live every day in fear of losing our children and other loved ones to unacceptably high levels of gun violence that hit the poorest communities the hardest. Too many of us know the pain of losing a child or loved one to senseless violence. Meanwhile, our government has divested from our communities and our basic needs go unmet. Our public schools lack the resources our children deserve. Many low-wage workers have no healthcare and union workers have to fight every contract to hold on to ours, while the vast majority of low-wage workers don’t even have a union. Our public transportation system is deeply underfunded, making traveling to work difficult and unsafe. Our housing gets more and more unaffordable each year, with no system in place to ensure that we can afford to live in the city we work in. Meanwhile, our police department often operates like an occupying force in poor Black and Brown neighborhoods.

Our lives are not valued the way wealthy people’s lives are valued. We struggle every day, as union members and residents, for the human equality that each of us deserves.

Many of us are immigrants, who arrived in Philadelphia after escaping war and violence in our home countries. As American militarism creates instability in Africa, Latin America, and Asia, the people who are displaced end up in low-wage, back- breaking work in the United States, like housekeeping and food-service.

Generations ago, Jewish immigrants fleeing violence and persecution in Eastern Europe came to work in the U.S.in the garment industry and other low-wage work. It was Jewish immigrants who showed us the power of working class solidarity, shaping

and rooting UNITE HERE’s predecessor unions, the International Ladies Garment Workers Union and the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union, in the militancy of working class immigrant women and men. We are indebted to these Jewish immigrant leaders. The hatred, anti-semitism, pogroms and Holocaust that they fled are examples of the same dehumanization that can never be tolerated – not then and not now.

We stand with Palestinians, Jews and oppressed and marginalized people in the United States and throughout the world.

UNITE HERE Philadelphia Locals 274 and 634 have worked hard and continue to work hard to stop the spread of fascism in the United States and in Pennsylvania.

In 2020, UNITE HERE Philadelphia led the effort that knocked on over 300,000 doors in Philadelphia to elect President Biden and was the first independent group to speak to voters in-person at their homes while the COVID pandemic raged. In 2022, we led the largest doorknocking campaign in Pennsylvania, speaking with over 1 million voters in the Philadelphia area in an independent campaign to elect Senator John Fetterman and Governor Josh Shapiro.

We are the largest 2024 independent get-out-the vote operation in Pennsylvania. We demand that President Biden and the Democratic Party hear our call.

UNITE HERE Locals 274 and 634 call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and an end to the occupation and apartheid in Palestine. We call on President Biden and his administration to:

  • demand a permanent ceasefire
  • stop U.S. funding for the war in Gaza
  • stop U.S. funding of the occupation of Palestine
  • redirect and reinvest the tax dollars currently sent abroad to fund the genocide

    in Gaza instead back into our neighborhoods: fully fund our public schools, youth programming, free access to physical and mental healthcare for all, truly affordable housing, equitable development and the growth of family sustaining, unionized service jobs