NEW YORK — The governing body of UNITE HERE recently elected D. Taylor as president. John Wilhelm, who had served as president since 2009, retired at the Nov. 29 meeting of the union’s General Executive Board.
UNITE HERE represents workers throughout the United States and Canada who work in the hotel, gaming, food service, manufacturing, textile, distribution, laundry, and airport industries.
Taylor leads UNITE HERE’s largest affiliate, Local 226 in Las Vegas (also called the Culinary Workers’ Union). Representing 60,000 workers, Local 226 is widely recognized for leading the transformation of hospitality jobs from low-wage, insecure work to stable, middle-class occupations, UNITE HERE says.
Taylor served as Local 226’s staff director from 1990 to 2002 and secretary-treasurer since 2002, and as general vice president of UNITE HERE since 2009.
Upon his election as president, he pledged to develop leadership among young people and people of color, and to expand the success of the union in Las Vegas to hospitality workers elsewhere.
“This is a tremendous honor, and a huge challenge,” Taylor says. “Our job is to fundamentally change the fate of workers in our industries. I’m optimistic that we can do that, but it’s going to require taking some real risks.”
Wilhelm was previously president of UNITE HERE’s Hospitality Division, and before that was president of HERE, one of the two unions that formed UNITE HERE in 2004.
“I am grateful beyond measure for the privilege of serving as this union’s president,” says Wilhelm. “We are blessed with terrific leadership, and it’s time for a new generation to lead us into the future.”