Economy

Labor Board Sides With Trump Hotel Workers In Union Battle

CREDIT: Alice Ollstein

Trump Hotel worker Marisela Olvera helped organize her coworkers last fall.

LAS VEGAS, NV — Just days before Nevada’s Republican presidential caucus, a federal labor official weighed in on the ongoing dispute between Donald Trump’s signature luxury Las Vegas hotel and the hundreds of workers who voted in December to unionize. Trump Hotel management had asked the National Labor Relations Board to throw out the results of that election, claiming that organizers from the Culinary Workers Union intimidated and coerced employees into voting yes, which “interfered with their ability to exercise a free and reasoned choice.” But after weeks of reviewing the evidence, the labor board did not agree.

Hearing Officer Lisa Dunn announced: “I recommend that the Employer’s objections be overruled in their entirety.”

Trump’s management has already withdrawn some of their objections, but still refuses to recognize the union. They have two weeks to challenge this new recommendation.

Now, the hotel’s 500-odd workers say they will continue pressuring the Trump Hotel management to recognize their bargaining unit and join them at the table to hammer out a first contract with the Culinary Workers Union and Bartenders Union. They plan to take advantage of Donald Trump himself coming to Las Vegas to campaign ahead of Tuesday’s Republican caucus, and will gather in the same building where he’s holding a rally Monday night to demand he negotiate with them. They will also take to the streets outside the Trump International Hotel on Tuesday, the day of the Republican caucus.

“He says he wants to make America great,” housekeeper Marisela Olvera told ThinkProgress in December. “Well, he should start here in his own house, his own business. He always brags about how he has millions and millions and millions of dollars, but he pays his workers less than most in Las Vegas.”

Olvera said it was management and its anti-labor law firm, not the union, who intimidated workers during the organizing drive.

“They pressured us a lot [to vote no],” she said. “They told us the union only wants our money, that if we supported the union we’d lose our jobs, that the company would put our names on a blacklist and no other hotels in Las Vegas would hire us. They told us to think of what our children would do if we were out of work. Everyone was very stressed. People were afraid. But bendito sea Diós, we still won, even with all that pressure.”

ThinkProgress reached out to the attorneys and PR firms representing the Trump Hotel, but did not receive a response.