The Culinary Workers Union Local 226 has for years failed in its attempts to unionize the Station group of hotel-casinos in Las Vegas. Station Casinos, frequently named to Fortune's 100 best Companies to Work For, is owned by Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, who are also majority owners of the UFC.
Although the UFC has nothing to do with culinary workers, and indeed provides a vast amount of union work at arenas across the nation, it has become a target of the union.
Anti-UFC steps the union has taken include:
•Backed anti-MMA legislation in New York;
•Called on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate UFC parent company ZUFFA, which the union accused of using monopolistic tactics to thwart competition from other MMA promoters;
•Launched a website complaining that UFC President Dana White swears a lot;
•Launched an online petition calling on FOX to back away from a deal to broadcast UFC events;
•Demand Anheuser-Busch pull its Bud Light sponsorship of the UFC;
•Supported wacky MMA legislation in California;
•Demanded the Marine Corps cut ties with the UFC;
•Demanded that OTM cut ties with the UFC; and
•Asked FOX to remove UFC lightweights Jeremy Stephens and Abel Trujillo from their UFC on FOX 5 fight for having a record.
•Petitioned Toys"R"Us CEO Gerald Storch to pull all UFC related toys from the company's stores.
Where organized labor once lifted millions of exploited workers into the middle class, the Culinary Union is now spending member dues to accuse Dana White of swearing. And the union has no issue what so ever with the UFC.
The logic behind the actions is difficult to fathom. The majority of steps taken thus far are farcial. The main exception is supporting anti MMA efforts in New York, which hurts fans and fighters, the economy of New York state, and every employee at Madison Square Garden, a union shop.
And now the union is extending its anti-MMA effforts to complaining that a local gay and lesbian community center is honoring the UFC.
The union often creates a fictitious anti-MMA organization that purports to do good, while their real intention is to unionize a casino chain, where the workers don't want to unionize. Thus this time the complaints are not coming from the United Allied Group of LGBTQQIA Patriots Against Violence and Cat Juggling, but rather from the union itself.
Yesenia Amaro from the Las Vegas Review Journal has the story.
Last spring, the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada recognized the UFC as its corporation of the year.
In a letter dated Sept. 16, the Culinary union told the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada’s Board of Directors that it’s “alarmed that the Center is honoring the Ultimate Fighting Championship as the corporation of the year.”
“Not only are the owners of the UFC embroiled in a bitter labor dispute with the Culinary Union over casino properties, Station Casinos, which provides no benefits to domestic partners through their 2013 health plan, but the UFC has a history of tolerating offensive comments by fighters and company representatives, including anti-gay and misogynistic remarks,” the letter says.
Ryan Marquardt, spokesman for the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada, said the UFC donated about $200,000 to the center in early 2012. The award by the center to the UFC was presented in late April or early May of this year.
The center will not reconsider rescinding its recognition of the UFC, he said Monday.
Raymond Wilmer, president of the center’s board of directors, said in a statement that “the partnership between the center and UFC is unlike any other joint effort” they have.
“From the outset of our partnership, the participation by UFC in the life of the center has been about more than just funding,” he said. “They have had an impressive presence at significant events, and they have ensured that this participation has been inclusive and has included the highest level of leadership of UFC. The center, in turn, has committed ourselves to supporting UFC’s long-standing efforts to ensure that their operation is fully supportive of equality and the LGBT community.”
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UFC president Dana White had blunt words for the union, after their latest stunt.
"The bottom line is the culinary union has done nothing for the gay and lesbian community," White told MMAjunkie.com. "They've done nothing, whereas we've done tons of stuff for the community.
"What the culinary union does is they us organizations like this. They use them. They call them and give them bull---- information to try and use them to hurt the UFC or whatever organization they're going after."
"These guys are f---ing scumbags. They do nothing for the gay and lesbian community, and then when they honor us because we've been involved, they try and bash them for honoring us.
"Go away, you f---ing creeps. Just go away. You're not going to win. You're not going to get what you want. You're not going to get Station Casinos, no matter how many scummy things you try to do behind the scenes. We will beat you every f---ing time. Just go away."
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