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AFSCME’s Saunders celebrates the leadership and legacy of retiring UNITE HERE President D. Taylor

WASHINGTON – AFSCME President Lee Saunders released this statement following the announcement by D. Taylor that he is stepping down as president of UNITE HERE:


“D. Taylor is one of the proudest, toughest, most accomplished trade unionists I’ve ever had the privilege to know.


“D’s visionary leadership has built UNITE HERE into a powerhouse, a mighty union that organizes in the most difficult places and wins the toughest political races. He has put the struggle for civil rights, immigrant justice and human dignity at the center of UNITE HERE’s identity. And he led his union through the devastation of the pandemic when nearly every member lost their job.


“AFSCME and UNITE HERE enjoy unique bonds of solidarity – and it’s been an honor to work with D to continue strengthening that partnership. Over the years, we have shown up in full force for each other, both building power and weathering adversity together. AFSCME stood on the picket line during the legendary Frontier strike of the 1990s. We mourned together when AFSCME and UNITE HERE members died on 9/11. UNITE HERE fought shoulder-to-shoulder with us to win collective bargaining for Nevada state workers a few years ago.


“No single individual is more responsible than D. Taylor for raising living standards of the everyday heroes of the hospitality industry. These jobs, too often denigrated and disrespected, now increasingly come with strong wages, health benefits, pensions and economic security.


“D leaves UNITE HERE and the entire labor movement stronger. We will all work that much harder to build on his legacy.”

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