Mr. Taylor has been a leader in the American labor movement for 36 years. Throughout the course of his career, he has worked to empower rank and file members to organize and lead their union. Mr. Taylor has led workers across the country to political and organizing victories.
Mr. Taylor was born and raised in Williamsburg, Virginia. He graduated from Georgetown University in 1980. During his time in Washington, Mr. Taylor was a shop steward at Harvey’s Restaurant.
In 1981, Mr. Taylor was hired to organize casino workers in the Reno/Tahoe area. Eventually he was moved to Las Vegas to help lead a citywide strike of Strip and downtown workers. The strike was one of the largest in Las Vegas history.
During his tenure in Las Vegas, the Union’s local, the Culinary Workers Union, grew from 18,000 members in 1987 to over 55,000 in 2013. Mr. Taylor worked as an organizer during some of the union’s most challenging moments including the six-year, four-month, ten-day strike at the Frontier Casino.
Mr. Taylor was part of a team that helped successfully rebuild the Culinary Workers Union Local 226. He was elected Secretary-Treasurer in 2002 and remained in that position until 2013. Some of the highlights of his tenure include:
- Leading the 2002 and 2007 contract negotiations where members secured the best wages and benefits in the casino industry.
- For the first time in Las Vegas history, contracts were negotiated to include language to protect housekeepers from being overworked or injured on the job.
- A positive, mutually beneficial relationship with most major gaming companies that resulted in the Culinary Academy in 1993. Today, it is one of the leading work training schools in the country, moving more people from welfare to work than any other institution in Nevada.
- Innovative healthcare for workers allowing members and their families to benefit from productive case management and quality care.
- Successful campaigns against employers to protect the standard of living workers had built over decades, including victory in the 6½-year Frontier Hotel and Casino strike.
- A rank-and-file-driven bipartisan political action program that increased civic participation amongst members.
- Helped establish the Citizenship Project, a free resource for immigrant workers in the process of becoming U.S. citizens.
The negotiations in 2007 produced the best contracts for casino workers yet. The union worked to set up a housing fund for members, secured the largest wage increases in the Culinary’s history, and protected health and retirement benefits. Mr. Taylor’s strategic thinking and willingness to work with management were essential to both the 2002 and 2007 negotiations.
In 2004, Mr. Taylor was appointed as the Gaming Division director of UNITE HERE. He was the chief negotiator and strategist when workers at Local 54 in Atlantic City went on strike. He led casino workers across the country to victories and expanded the union’s organizing in states like Mississippi, Florida, Indiana, and Pennsylvania. He also oversaw the union’s expansion in California Tribal Gaming.