Dana White on Union and Councilman: “I Don’t Want to Get All into Politics, but It’s Disgusting”

August 15, 2013
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Dana White UFC on Fox 8 Post_9291The Culinary Union has been a thorn in UFC president Dana White’s side for quite some time. The Union’s efforts to block the UFC at every turn has been particularly loathsome in New York, where it has stymied the promotion’s efforts to open up the state to sanctioned mixed martial arts events for several years.

What really gets to White, however, isn’t the Union’s small successes or the aggravation it caused in the lead-up to this weekend’s UFC Fight Night 26 event in Boston this weekend.

It’s the Union’s manipulation of legitimate groups that are fighting for worthy causes and its political maneuvering that fluster White.

“What makes me crazy is how apparent it is and transparent, you can see right through it and they just don’t care,” White said following Thursday’s UFC Fight Night 26 pre-fight press conference in Boston.

“When you elect politicians, politicians are supposed to create more jobs, they’re supposed to do great things for the city, they’re supposed to bring events in to create revenue for the city. They do the exact opposite because they are being funded by the union or whatever else it might be.

“I don’t want to get all into politics, but it’s disgusting.”

The Culinary Union’s end game is not the UFC, but UFC co-owners Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta’s other business, Station Casinos, in Nevada. Station Casinos is one of the largest non-union casino companies in the United States, and the Culinary Union wants to unionize it, but has been unsuccessful in its attempts to do so.

In an effort to try and force the hand of the Fertitta brothers, the Union has waged war on the UFC, particularly in the Eastern portion of the United States, where unions still have a stranglehold over many powerful politicians.

The UFC and mixed martial arts have tremendous support – even from the majority of politicians – in New York to pass legislation that would legalize professional competitions and events in the state. The New York Senate has passed the bill to legalize MMA for the past four years.

The Culinary Union, however, continues to influence New York House Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to let the legislation die on the vine without a vote, as he did once again this year.

In the lead-up to this weekend’s event in Boston, the Culinary Union filed complaints trying to block the participation of main event fighter Chael Sonnen and to deny entry of minors to the event.

Both attempts failed.

Although it came too late to affect Saturday’s Shogun vs. Rua at TD Garden, the Boston City Council on Wednesday will vote on a resolution filed by council president Steven Murphy to ban minors from future UFC events.

Murphy has publicly denied that he knows anything about the Culinary Union.

“(Dana White) comes with some cockamamy story about some union in Las Vegas that I don’t know about. When you haven’t got the law you argue the facts, when you haven’t got the facts that’s when you call your opponents names, and that’s what the UFC specializes in,” Murphy recently told NECN TV in Boston.

But White isn’t buying his denial nor does he support the idea that politicians should be telling parents whether or not they should take their kids to a sporting event like the UFC.

“This Murphy guy is a stereotypical politician. He’s a bad guy… typical liar politician,” said White.

“Let me tell you this, if they vote that 18 and under shouldn’t be allowed to come here, the people in Boston should go (expletive) crazy.

“These kids have parents. Who are you to try and parent these other people’s kids? That’s not what you were elected to do. You weren’t elected to become children’s parents you self-righteous clown.”

Yes, the Culinary Union causes a lot of headaches for White, but it’s this process of political wrangling that leaves him disheartened.

“When you look at how this country works, it just bums you out,” he added.

White is under no misgivings, however, that the UFC overcoming the Culinary Union’s efforts in Boston was anything more than winning a skirmish. The war will continue and there will be more battles to come, because the Union has its sights set on a rather large prize should its efforts eventually succeed.

“If they get Station Casinos unionized, they get $10 million more dollars a year for their union. Do you think the guys that are launching this attack, do you think they work for free?” posited White.

“At the end of the day, I really don’t care. These guys are gonna run around, spend their money, but are they gonna shut the UFC down? We got everything done here that we needed to get done.”

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  • Mike mckinney

    I’m not much a fan of it, but there are laws that make decisions for parents everywhere. Smoking, drinking, driving, there are certain movies to cant go to. Hell, from what I hear you can’t by a large soda in New York anymore as an adult. It’s just a bad arguement for Dana.

    Also unions don’t do things to “limit” jobs. Especially if they’re going to be another unions work. It’s a sure way to get into a pissing contest that none of the unions like. I don’t agree with the actions of every union, I don’t even agree with all the actions of mine, but its more than “10 million a year” that this union is looking for. The larger a union is the more pull they get. Remember that a union is just a collection of workers.

    • Ping

      Unions limit jobs all the time. Why do you think so many jobs are going out of the U.S.? Not all companies can afford to be like general motors and pay people to not work, go out of business, and then get rescued by the federal government

      • Mike mckinney

        You are aware that there are tons of union contracts keeping jobs in America right?
        The minimum wage also sends jobs overseas. Should we get rid of that too? Very few companies have the money to pick up and move overseas, but not enough to pay “american” wages. There are countries that have governments that make people work for incrediably small amounts. I hate t sound like Obama, but we don’t want those jobs anyhow.

        • Kbroesq

          This really isn’t a story about whether unions are good or bad. There’s really no right or wrong answer to that. We’re all aware of stories of over-bloated, entrenched unions causing people who scan my groceries (aka, something my two year old can do) to get paid more than a nurse or teacher.

          We’re also aware of groups of people getting abused and mistreated because they don’t have the power of collective bargaining to get fair wages/benefits.

          Really this story is about the efforts of the petty Culinary Union to act like children by trying to hurt a company they really don’t even care about.

          • Werdoomb

            good point.
            This is how a human mind works in a capitalist society.

            1. beg for a job even if you get paid low.

            2. slowly, you want to get paid more.

            3. you try to talk to the boss but the boss doesn’t budge.
            4. you form a union with your co-workers and put pressure on the boss.
            5. the boss fires you and hires illegals.
            6. you form a bigger union and lobby, asking for minimum wage laws. the minimum wage law gets passed.
            7.now the boss has no incentive of hiring illegals and hires you back, with a raise.
            8. you are not yet happy. you ask for another raise.
            9. the boss, having bills to pay, simply can’t afford to give you a raise.
            10. the boss decides to move offshore where he is not affect by minimum wage laws.
            11. you lose your job.

            12. you now start talking shiiiit on Unions for raising wages, which costed you your job.

      • Werdoomb

        You sound sooo dooomb.

        First, the high-end jobs have never left this country. High finance, medicine, law, engineering and other top end jobs have always stayed here.

        The jobs that went offshore are those that require minimum level of skills, and some of those are coming back now.

        Jobs are going out because people living in other parts of the world are willing to be paid less and technological innovations allow offshore resourcing of certain tasks.

        Unions have an incentive of keeping the wages up so that illegal immigrants will not compete against them for the same job.

        What does GM and the bailout have to do with this????

    • ElbowSlice

      Poor argument. Most parents agree that children should not smoke, drink, see trashy movies, or drive. Therefore, the law supports the parents on these issues and most parents are in agreement with these laws. But I doubt that most parents would agree that they want to prevent other parents from bringing their own kids to a UFC sporting event. Parents want help in providing healthy boundaries for their children. Parents do not want a Nanny-State taking control of their job as parents.

  • DamianCross

    I really would like to see some evidence that the Culinary Union is behind all this, besides Dana’s ranting. That’s not meant to sound cynical btw..mmaweekly reported that the culinary union raised the complaint against Chael Sonnen fighting in Boston and that to me is a tell-tale sign that Dana’s been telling the truth about their dealings and intentions all along. But is there a source stating the union raised that complaint besides Dana saying they did?

    • Mike mckinney

      I thought that the msac said the union brought the complaint. Odd that it wasn’t just a person that filed though.
      I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be a source you’re looking for so good luck. Dont be afraid to mention something you find.

    • Timothy Malone

      The union’s website is culinaryunion226.org You can see there under News that they link to stories that mention their part in trying to hinder the event in Boston.

      • DamianCross

        Along with a blurb decrying station casinos. Yep, that settles it. Dana’s been telling the truth all along.

        ….WAIT A SECOND…

        So Steven Murphy is saying that Dana made all this up when the union themselves OPENLY ADMIT that they filed the complaint in the first place?? I thought you said he was president of the Boston City Council, not the North Korean War Ministry…

  • Oswald Cobblepott

    Ok so find a new plan and quit crying, I advised Turnbull you guys needed to take more of a humanitarian role as many of those opposing you are the same folks that vote yes in DC and Albany. for those you are investing in…over time you will sway them…it will take time be patient. NYC is like Vegas on best best night Every night be patient one you are in the UFC will explode.

  • Werdoomb

    Zuffa loves to divide and conquer. They know the power of collective bargaining.

    Dana is the best butler one could ever have.