UNITE HERE, a labor union representing Yale food, service, maintenance and custodial workers, has endorsed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton LAW ’73 for president of the United States.
According to the July press release announcing the endorsement, UNITE HERE did so as a result of Clinton’s commitment to affordable health care and her commitment to end the double-payment scheme that is currently part of the Affordable Care Act. UNITE HERE also said that the union approves of Clinton’s plans for immigration reform, including her plans for ending family detention to enable more people to become naturalized citizens of the United States. The union’s press release mentioned that through the endorsement, UNITE HERE is committed to helping Clinton prevail in Nevada, a swing state and the state in which the largest local group of UNITE HERE presides.
Yale Dining staff interviewed indicated that they supported Clinton and the UNITE HERE endorsement. Some workers declined to speak to the News, citing the sensitive nature of the subject.
“The election as far as between Hillary and [Donald] Trump?” Gwendolyn Lockman, a Morse College dining hall worker, said. “I have to be honest and I’m going to say I’d rather not vote for either one, but I have to vote for one of them because not voting is voting anyway, basically.”
According to her campaign website, Clinton’s policies include raising the minimum wage, strengthening labor unions and protecting the American middle class. The policies of Republican nominee Trump, on the other hand, advocate for weaker labor unions and oppose an increase to the national minimum wage.
“This election is going to be a historic one,” Larry Jackson, a Pierson College dining hall worker, said. “Not only does it have a nonpolitician as the Republican nominee, but it has the first female as the Democratic nominee. So it’s going to make history either way.”
Of the six Yale Dining employees interviewed at Pierson, Morse and Jonathan Edwards colleges, all said they supported Clinton and the Democratic Party, noting that their co-workers also supported the Democrats.
However, they also noted that neither candidate is ideal.
“The way it is, people’s backs are against the wall,” Lockman said. “With Hillary there are some things that came out as far as her background, but at the same time, the way Trump is going about it he’s being a racist, basically, and a sexist.”
Jonathan Edwards College dining hall worker Lucretia Jones said the only reason she plans to vote for Clinton is because Clinton is not Trump.
Several other dining hall workers interviewed expressed concerns about Trump’s behavior on the campaign trail.
“I’ve watched the debates and as far as Trump, when they ask him a question, his answer is all about bashing Hillary,” Lockman said. “He can never speak as far as what he’s going to do for the country. He never answers the question, he goes right into bashing Hillary. At least with Hillary, she does share the plan she has for the country.”
Dining hall staff also emphasized the importance of political participation. Jackson said described not voting as a “terrible vote,” adding that voting is a privilege that should be taken advantage of.