President Emeritus, UNITE HERE! Local 11
Thomas Walsh is President Emeritus of UNITE HERE! Local 11. He worked in the hotel and food service industry as a banquet server, bartender, and front desk clerk, and first became involved in the union movement and joined Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees (HERE) Local 25 in Washington, DC.
After graduating from college, Walsh worked as an organizer in various parts of the country until settling in Los Angeles in 1988. In 1996, he was elected as the President of HERE Local 814 based in Santa Monica. Following the example of the larger Local 11, he led a team of organizers and rank and file members in transforming what was then a weak union in rapid decline into an active, growing union with significant organizing victories. In 2002, locals 11 and 814 voted to merge, and members elected Walsh Secretary-Treasurer of the newly merged local under then-President Maria Elena Durazo. He was later elected President of Local 11 when the members of Local 11 and Local 681 in Orange County voted to merge into one union. UNITE HERE Local 11 now represents 20,000 members in the hotel and food service industries.