STATEMENT by Culinary Union Secretary-Treasurer Ted Pappageorge regarding D. Taylor’s legacy



Monday, April 1, 2024 


Bethany Khan: ▪ (702) 387-7088

STATEMENT by Culinary Union Secretary-Treasurer Ted Pappageorge regarding D. Taylor’s legacy: 

UNITE HERE announced today that D. Taylor, President of UNITE HERE, has stepped down. He leaves a multi-decade legacy in the labor movement defined by record growth in “Right-to-Work” states and improved standards for hospitality jobs across the country.

In 1984, D. Taylor came on to Las Vegas during the 1984 Citywide Strike and he returned in 1987 (on a 6-month assignment that would eventually become permanent) to build the Culinary Union and for that, we are so grateful. His 40-year legacy of advocating and winning for working families made our union the militant organizing and political powerhouse that it is today. 

From 1987 to 2012, D. was one of the chief architects of the Culinary Union’s organizing and political strategy, and under his leadership, union membership grew from 17,000 to 55,000 and Nevada’s statewide political landscape went from reliably red to the battleground state - that the Culinary Union has delivered for Democratic champions who fight for workers - that it is today.

D. has been a steadfast champion of worker and immigrant rights, health care reform, and has personally spearheaded innovative language at the bargaining table. D. always centered workers and believes that, “if you tell workers the truth, they will do the right thing for themselves and their families,” and we carry on that motto in everything that we do today. 

D. showed us how to stand up against giant corporations with his “One Day Longer” spirit and win, and he transformed the Culinary Union into the dynamic fighting local that it is today. Generations of both union and non-union have been changed forever because of his sacrifice and unwavering commitment and we are proud to call him brother, friend, and mentor.

As D. transitions to a new chapter with UNITE HERE, we continue the fight to protect working families and face the challenges ahead with him right by our side.

The Culinary Union celebrates the announcement that our union sister, Gwen Mills, will succeed D. as the next UNITE HERE President. Gwen is a strong leader who is committing to winning for workers and Culinary Union President Diana Valles and I were proud to swear in the first-ever woman in UNITE HERE’s history to be elected International Union President this morning at the Culinary Union HQ.


Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165, Nevada affiliates of UNITE HERE, represent 60,000 workers in Las Vegas and Reno, including at most of the casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip and in Downtown Las Vegas. UNITE HERE represents 300,000 workers in gaming, hotel, and food service industries in North America. 

The Culinary Union, through the Culinary Health Fund, is one of the largest healthcare consumers in the state. The Culinary Health Fund is sponsored by the Culinary Union and Las Vegas-area employers. It provides health insurance coverage for over 145,000 Nevadans, the Culinary Union’s members and their dependents.  

The Culinary Union is Nevada’s largest Latinx/Black/AAPI/immigrant organization with members who come from 178 countries and speak over 40 different languages. We are proud to have helped over 18,000 immigrants become American citizens and new voters since 2001 through our affiliate, The Citizenship Project.  

The Culinary Union has a diverse membership which is 55% women and 60% immigrants. The demographics of Culinary Union members are approximately: 54% Latinx, 18% white, 15% Asian, 12% Black, and less than 1% Indigenous Peoples. 

Culinary Union members work as: Guest room attendants, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, bartenders, laundry and kitchen workers. The Culinary Union has been fighting and winning for working families in Nevada for 89 years. / @Culinary226 


More News

Get Connected