EDITORIAL: Culinary should tap out


For an organization whose membership includes thousands of food service industry employees, Culinary Local 226 doesn’t seem to understand who butters its workers’ bread.

As reported by the Review-Journal’s Yesenia Amaro on Tuesday, the Culinary union sent a letter to the Gay and Lesbian Center of Southern Nevada, asking the organization to reconsider honoring the Ultimate Fighting Championship as corporation of the year. The letter was yet another Culinary attack on UFC majority owners Frank Fertitta III and Lorenzo Fertitta, who also happen to own Station Casinos.

The letter said “the UFC has a history of tolerating offensive comments by fighters and company representatives, including anti-gay and misogynistic remarks.” But this grievance is really about Station Casinos’ nonunion properties and the Fertittas’ insistence on a secret-ballot vote to organize them. To try to make the Fertittas cave to card check, the Culinary intimidates anyone who does business with them or attempts to recognize anything tied to the Fertittas in a positive fashion.

Contrary to Culinary’s statements, the UFC has “had an impressive presence at significant events, and they have ensured that this participation has included the highest levels of leadership of UFC,” said Raymond Wilmer, president of the center’s board of directors. To Culinary’s credit, center Director of Communications Ryan Marquardt said the union has also been supportive. The UFC has donated $200,000 to the center. Mr. Marquardt said the Culinary has not made such a financial contribution.

Union spokeswoman Yvanna Cancela didn’t return calls or email from Ms. Amaro seeking comment, which isn’t surprising. Union leaders can’t possibly defend their strategy. The Culinary would do well to remember that the UFC’s huge mixed martial arts events on the Strip put big money into union members’ pockets and, by extension, the union itself. Kudos to the Gay and Lesbian Center of Southern Nevada for refusing to rescind the honor. Enough of the unwarranted attacks, particularly over noteworthy charitable acts.

 

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