D. Taylor is the International President of one of the fastest growing unions in America, UNITE HERE, and a new organizing expert with a track record of results spanning nearly 40 years in the labor movement. He has served as President of UNITE HERE since 2012.
President Taylor is originally from Williamsburg, Virginia, and first joined the union as a steward in a Washington, DC restaurant he worked in while attending Georgetown University in the 1970s. He was hired on by the union full time upon graduating and moved to Nevada, where he rapidly rose through the ranks.
President Taylor’s tenure in Nevada included helping grow the union, Culinary Workers 226, from 18,000 members to over 55,000 between 1987 and 2013. He also played a leadership role on the seven-year Frontier Casino strike – one of the longest successful strikes in labor history. He also led negotiations with the largest casinos on the Strip, pioneering higher standards in wages, healthcare, and workload that turned low-paying hospitality jobs into sustainable careers.
In 2004, President Taylor was appointed the Gaming Division Director of UNITE HERE’s International Union. In this role he led casino workers to victory across North America, and successfully organized new members in Mississippi, Florida, Indiana, and Pennsylvania. He also oversaw UNITE HERE’s expansion into Tribal Gaming in California and led Atlantic City workers through a strike. In 2009, President Taylor was elected General Vice President of the International Union before being elected General President in 2012.
As International President of UNITE HERE, President Taylor has set ambitious goals for the union’s organizing growth. Under President Taylor’s leadership, UNITE HERE has organized 62,000 workers in five years (24% overall growth), surpassing organizing goals he set at the 2014 Convention. Of those 62,000 people, 12,000 of them reside in the American South, underscoring UNITE HERE’s commitment to organize in conservative, right-to-work states with uncommonly successful results. UNITE HERE is proud to now have over 300,000 members across North America. While growing in strides, UNITE HERE contracts have continued to strengthen under President Taylor’s leadership, resulting in union wages for UNITE HERE hotel housekeepers being nearly triple the non-union standard in many cities.
Under President Taylor’s leadership, UNITE HERE has also achieved political victories that have bucked conventional wisdom regarding what labor can do under Trump. UNITE HERE played a major role in delivering hard fought election victories in both Nevada and Arizona, becoming the critical force behind the only Senatorial races to swing blue in 2018 (Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-NV and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-AZ).
Amid attacks on immigrants from the Trump administration, President Taylor has pushed UNITE HERE to intensify its advocacy for immigrant workers with efforts to protect millions of working people with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or DACA. President Taylor believes that a critical strategy to growth and standards is broadening our leadership to reflect the diversity of our membership. President Taylor has also spurred efforts to advance black union leaders and other leaders of color, in keeping with the union’s longstanding commitment to civil rights and racial justice. He has also made healthcare and affordable prescription drugs a marquee union priority across the country, spearheading efforts to win cutting edge pharmaceutical transparency legislation in Nevada and California.
President Taylor and his wife Bobbette Bond, a leading advocate for quality, affordable health care, primarily live in Seattle. They are the proud parents to their two adult daughters. Follow him on Twitter: @DTaylorUH.