UNITE HERE’s leader: Gaming should answer to state for layoffs

rile em up D
UNITE HERE President D Taylor address Culinary 226 members in Las Vegas May 14. (Culinary 226 twitter)
rile em up D
UNITE HERE President D Taylor address Culinary 226 members in Las Vegas May 14. (Culinary 226 twitter)

D Taylor toiled for decades to get first-rate pay and benefits for Culinary Local 226 members. He’s formed invaluable partnerships with the biggest hotel companies in the world. But he’s not the least bit hesitant to step on their toes, if need be.

With one thousand MGM Resorts International jobs on the corporate chopping block, albeit non-union jobs, Taylor is feeling the need. 

On Tuesday morning, Taylor, who now heads up UNITE HERE, the parent union of the Culinary,  promised members vigilance from the union as hotels, under pressure from activist investors, engage in “financial engineering.”

What’s his advice to non-union employees facing an uncertain future?

“I think we have to raise a really serious question to the Nevada Control Board and the Nevada Gaming Commission,” Taylor told the Current Tuesday. “It’s a privileged license. They promised to have good-paying, secure jobs. When those go away, why doesn’t that license come into question?” Taylor asked.

Sandra Douglass Morgan, who Gov. Steve Sisolak appointed to chair the Control Board days after in his inauguration in January, is a former attorney for MGM.

Taylor raised similar concerns in a recent letter to MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren.

“Jobs are going to evolve.  I get that. But what we’re vehemently opposed to is this ‘slash and burn’ for the benefit of Wall Street and not for the benefit of Main Street,” Taylor said.  “Clearly, in this country you’ve had these vultures come in and destroy companies. It has an effect on the town, the community and the industry. I think we have to be the voice that speaks out.”

How does Governor Steve Sisolak, who received significant support from the Culinary and from the gaming industry, particularly MGM Resorts International, feel about Taylor’s desire to call hotel companies before regulators?

A spokeswoman for the governor did not immediately respond to the Current’s request for comment.

Dana Gentry
Reporter | Dana Gentry is a native Las Vegan and award-winning investigative journalist. She is a graduate of Bishop Gorman High School and holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Gentry began her career in broadcasting as an intern at Channel 8, KLAS-TV. She later became a reporter at Channel 8, working with Las Vegas TV news legends Bob Stoldal and the late Ned Day. Gentry left her reporting job in 1985 to focus on motherhood. She returned to TV news in 2001 to launch "Face to Face with Jon Ralston" and the weekly business programs In Business Las Vegas and Vegas Inc, which she co-anchored with Jeff Gillan. Dana is the mother of four adult children, three cats, three dogs and a cockatoo.

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