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Trump Hotel Unlawfully "Restraining and Coercing" Las Vegas Culinary Workers

Wednesday, 16 March 2016 00:00 By Sam Knight, The District Sentinel | Report
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Trump Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo: Eric Huang)Trump Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Trump International has been slapped with charges by federal officials over alleged unfair labor practices. (Photo: Eric Huang)

The National Labor Relations Board alleged that the hotel company of Republican presidential primary front-runner Donald Trump "has been interfering with, restraining and coercing" the rights of its workers in Las Vegas.

The complaint, issued last week by the NLRB, said Trump International Hotel offered sweetheart deals to employees who rejected a unionization drive and retaliated against two workers who supported the initiative. The successful union drive was led by the Culinary Workers Union Local 226.

"Specifically, the complaint alleges that a hotel labor consultant told employees last year that the Culinary would not help them and said 'it would be futile for them to select the union as their bargaining representative,'" VEGAS INC reported. The filing also said Trump International guaranteed "job opportunities to transfer to different positions" in exchange for opposition to unionization.

The NLRB also found that Trump International "terminated a certain employee and did not transfer another one to a full-time server job" because of pro-union activities.

Federal law grants workers "the right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection."

The Culinary Union noted that Trump International has already been slapped with charges by federal officials over alleged unfair labor practices. Prior complaints involved: the limiting of workers' ability to communicate; surveillance and interrogations; "intimidation of employees by Trump management and security staff, including a manager physically pushing employees," and other disciplinary actions in retaliation for pro-union activity.

Last week's complaint will be adjudicated on April 12 by an administrative law judge. Jill Martin, the Trump Organization's assistant general counsel told VEGAS INC that "the allegations in the complaint are completely without merit and we look forward to proving that at a hearing."

The Culinary Union noted that Trump International has previously settled two NLRB complaints over unfair labor practices, striking one deal in 2014 and another last year.

"Despite these obstacles to a free and fair union election, a majority of workers at the Trump Las Vegas voted to unionize in a NLRB election held December 4-5, 2015," it said.

Trump International challenged the validity of the vote -- a motion overruled by the NLRB in February. Hotel managers had accused Culinary Union supporters of "coercing workers and improperly influencing the outcome"-- charges they themselves will face next month.

Donald Trump has said throughout his campaign that his industrial management experience as a businessman should help him with pro-labor voters -- at least relatively-speaking, for a Republican.

"Manhattan is a hundred percent -- you're building a building, it's essentially a hundred percent union," he said in early February. "So I've worked with unions over the years. I've done very well with unions."

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Sam Knight

Sam Knight is a reporter, editor and cofounder of The District Sentinel, a news co-op reporting on Washington and federal policy for the left.

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Trump Hotel Unlawfully "Restraining and Coercing" Las Vegas Culinary Workers

Wednesday, 16 March 2016 00:00 By Sam Knight, The District Sentinel | Report
  • font size decrease font size decrease font size increase font size increase font size
  • Print

Trump Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo: Eric Huang)Trump Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Trump International has been slapped with charges by federal officials over alleged unfair labor practices. (Photo: Eric Huang)

The National Labor Relations Board alleged that the hotel company of Republican presidential primary front-runner Donald Trump "has been interfering with, restraining and coercing" the rights of its workers in Las Vegas.

The complaint, issued last week by the NLRB, said Trump International Hotel offered sweetheart deals to employees who rejected a unionization drive and retaliated against two workers who supported the initiative. The successful union drive was led by the Culinary Workers Union Local 226.

"Specifically, the complaint alleges that a hotel labor consultant told employees last year that the Culinary would not help them and said 'it would be futile for them to select the union as their bargaining representative,'" VEGAS INC reported. The filing also said Trump International guaranteed "job opportunities to transfer to different positions" in exchange for opposition to unionization.

The NLRB also found that Trump International "terminated a certain employee and did not transfer another one to a full-time server job" because of pro-union activities.

Federal law grants workers "the right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection."

The Culinary Union noted that Trump International has already been slapped with charges by federal officials over alleged unfair labor practices. Prior complaints involved: the limiting of workers' ability to communicate; surveillance and interrogations; "intimidation of employees by Trump management and security staff, including a manager physically pushing employees," and other disciplinary actions in retaliation for pro-union activity.

Last week's complaint will be adjudicated on April 12 by an administrative law judge. Jill Martin, the Trump Organization's assistant general counsel told VEGAS INC that "the allegations in the complaint are completely without merit and we look forward to proving that at a hearing."

The Culinary Union noted that Trump International has previously settled two NLRB complaints over unfair labor practices, striking one deal in 2014 and another last year.

"Despite these obstacles to a free and fair union election, a majority of workers at the Trump Las Vegas voted to unionize in a NLRB election held December 4-5, 2015," it said.

Trump International challenged the validity of the vote -- a motion overruled by the NLRB in February. Hotel managers had accused Culinary Union supporters of "coercing workers and improperly influencing the outcome"-- charges they themselves will face next month.

Donald Trump has said throughout his campaign that his industrial management experience as a businessman should help him with pro-labor voters -- at least relatively-speaking, for a Republican.

"Manhattan is a hundred percent -- you're building a building, it's essentially a hundred percent union," he said in early February. "So I've worked with unions over the years. I've done very well with unions."

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Sam Knight

Sam Knight is a reporter, editor and cofounder of The District Sentinel, a news co-op reporting on Washington and federal policy for the left.

Related Stories

Labor Unions: The Folks Who Gave You the Weekend
By Dean Baker, Truthout | Op-Ed
Labor: 2015 in Review
By Alexandra Bradbury, Labor Notes | Report
Trump Employees Vote to Unionize, Protest in Nevada
By s.e. smith, Care2 | News Analysis

Hide Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus