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Trump’s Workers



Donald Trump will treat the American working class, regardless of race and religion, the same as he has treated his own workers.

Since voting to unionize last December, employees at Las Vegas’ Trump International Hotel say their famous employer has refused to acknowledge or negotiate with the union. The Trump International Hotel employs more than 500 workers who clean rooms or prepare and serve food and drinks, more than half of whom voted to unionize almost a year ago.

“He says he’s a big negotiator, but he doesn’t negotiate with the workers,” Elsabeth Moges, who has worked as a Trump International housekeeper in Las Vegas for four years, told Business Insider.

In Las Vegas, 95% of hotels on the Strip and in the downtown area are unionized, making Trump Hotel, which the candidate co-owns with billionaire Phil Ruffin, an anomaly. Union workers make about $3 more per hour than workers at Trump Hotel, and receive pensions and healthcare benefits, according to workers and the Culinary Union, Nevada’s powerful hospitality union.

This discrepancy, Moges says, and the desire for greater job security helped drive her and fellow employees to push for a union.

“We work very hard every single day and we’re not appreciated,” she said.

Even before the vote to unionize, the Culinary Union says the hotel attempted to block pro-union efforts. Trump Hotel, meanwhile, has accused union supporters of pressuring workers to vote for the union by saying they would be fired if they didn’t vote for unionization.

The Trump Organization did not respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

“He’d tried to do everything he could to intimidate the workers, and scare them, and get them to vote no,” Culinary Union spokesperson Bethany Kahn told Business Insider. “That’s a little concerning for someone heading into Election Day.”

In August, the union filed a complaint to the NLRB regarding Trump International’s refusal to bargain, which is illegal. The NLRB has not yet issued a decision on the case.

Trump’s ongoing refusal to negotiate with the union has created many opportunities for workers to speak out against the candidate.

“He says he wants to make America great,” housekeeper Marisela Olvera told ThinkProgress in April. “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.”

“Why doesn’t he want to respect us and make time to negotiate,” Celia Vargas, another Trump Hotel employee, told the Los Angeles Times in April. “Like everybody, I’m confused.”

I doubt Vargas is actually confused. The answer is of course obvious, which is that Trump is a liar and a bully. Everyone in the Culinary Union knows this, which is why it is absolutely central to Democrats winning in Nevada next week.

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