UNITE HERE is a union representing over 25,000 members in Canada and more than 275,000 people across North America.
UNITE HERE’s diverse membership includes many recent immigrants and a high proportion of women, representing workers in hotels, restaurants, racetracks and casinos, laundry and food service companies, airport concessions and apparel, textile and general manufacturing and distribution centers. Currently, UNITE HERE represents over 100,000 hotel workers in most major hotel corporations across North America.
UNITE HERE traces its history back over one hundred years in North America and boasts a diverse, majority female membership. UNITE (formerly the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees) and HERE (Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union) merged on July 8, 2004 to form UNITE HERE.
UNITE HERE Local 75 (and its predecessor locals) have represented hospitality workers in Toronto and south-central Ontario since the 1890s.
Our union power comes from the grass-roots membership. Our members are active in all aspects of union activity. They are our decision makers and organizers.
The Executive Board is the governing body of UNITE HERE Local 75. The Executive Board represents Local 75 properties across the GTA. Together with Local 75’s President, Vice President, and Secretary Treasurer, they are democratically elected to be the voice of our members. The Executive Board meets at least once a month, together with a broader leadership group called the Solidarity Committee. The ethnic and gender diversity of this leadership group is true to our membership.
Guled Warsame is President of Unite Here Local 75 after he was unanimously appointed by the Executive Board and unanimously confirmed by the membership. Guled served as Staff Director and as a Union Representative for 14 years and has been involved in all major campaigns and bargained most of the local’s industry-leading collective agreements. Guled was a community organizer, leading the 10-year Rexdale Rising campaign that succeeded in winning a Community Benefits Agreement for the new Woodbine Casino development, the first in Canada. He organized and represented hotel, food service and gaming workers in the union, and has been part of every campaign in the last decade.
Shelli Sareen is Secretary-Treasurer of UNITE HERE Local 75. She has been with the Union for more than 13 years, holding a number of positions. Shelli had the opportunity to work with the International Union’s research department, and most recently, led the research against some of the largest hotel companies in North America, before being elected as Secretary-Treasurer. Shelli also sits on board of trustees of the Unite Here Health and Welfare Plan & Unite Here Pension Plan since early 2018.
Valrie Lue has served as Vice President of Local 75 since 2006. She has more than 15 years’ experience as a rank and file member of the local, giving her a deep and vast understanding of our members’ priorities. She first became engaged with the union in 1988 when she was a member at the Airport Hilton. Her passion for equity and justice saw her rise to shop leader, Union Rep and she hasn’t stopped advocating for our members since.