For immediate release
December 15, 2015
UNITE HERE’s Culinary Union Calls for Immediate Contract Negotiations
LAS VEGAS, NV – The Trump International Hotel Las Vegas has filed objections to a vote held by their employees, 9 days after a majority of workers at the hotel have voted “YES” to be represented by the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and the Bartenders Union Local 165 of UNITE HERE.
The Trump Hotel Las Vegas is required by federal law to bargain with the union, even though they have filed objections, and the Culinary Union calls upon the company to bargain a fair contract immediately.
“We are not surprised that Trump Las Vegas management have filed objections to the outcome of a free and fair union representation election won by their workers who want a union,” said Geoconda Arguello-Kline, Secretary-Treasurer of the Culinary Union. “Trump Hotel Las Vegas managers have been accused by the federal government of violating labor laws. They want to avoid hearing Donald Trump utter his trademark ‘You’re fired’.”
“Mr. Trump has said repeatedly that he expects and insists on being treated fairly as he campaigns to be the next President of the United States of America,” said Jeffrey Wise, a food server at the hotel, “I also want to be treated fairly – My coworkers and I participated in a democratic election process– just like the one Mr. Trump is preparing for right now.”
“We voted yes to make our jobs good jobs with fair wages and job security,” said Celia Vargas, a housekeeper at the property. “We won that vote, so our voices and votes should be respected.”
Trump Las Vegas workers voted in a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election on December 4 and 5, 2015 at their hotel. Over 500 employees of the hotel are in the union’s bargaining unit and were eligible to vote. This victory for workers at the luxury non-gaming hotel co-owned by businessman Donald Trump and casino owner Phillip Ruffin, came nine months after workers at the Trump International Hotel Toronto voted to join UNITE HERE, and one week after the Trump Toronto workers ratified their first contract.
In June 2014, five Trump Las Vegas employees were unfairly suspended for exercising their legal right to wear a union button and organize their coworkers. After the Culinary Union filed unfair labor practice charges with the NLRB against the Trump Las Vegas, these workers were returned to work with back pay. In June 2015, the Culinary Union filed additional charges with the NLRB asserting that the Trump Las Vegas violated the federally protected rights of workers to participate in union activities. Some of the new charges include incidents of alleged physical assault, verbal abuse, intimidation, and threats by management.
In August 2015, the NLRB issued a complaint against Trump Las Vegas, alleging that Trump Las Vegas interfered with, restrained and coerced workers in the exercise of federally protected rights, including incidents of surveilling, interrogating, and threatening workers with reprisals, rules suppressing employee free speech, and on one occasion physically pushing workers in the parking lot. Among these allegations is also the case of a Latina mother of three who works at Trump Las Vegas and is pro-union. The NLRB alleges that Trump Las Vegas fired this union-supporting employee in order to discourage her co-workers from engaging in union activities. Trump Las Vegas admitted that its rules suppressing employee free speech were illegal and rescinded them.
Other non-casino hotels on the Las Vegas Strip that are union and have union benefits: Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas, Elara Hilton Grand Vacations, Hilton Grand Vacations Suites on the Las Vegas Strip, Hilton Grand Vacation Paradise, and Hilton Grand Vacations Club at the Flamingo.
Culinary Workers Local 226 and Bartenders Local 165, Nevada affiliates of UNITE HERE, represent over 57,000 workers in Las Vegas and Reno, including at most of casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip. UNITE HERE represents 270,000 workers in gaming, hotel, and food service industries in North America.