For immediate release
April 4, 2016
Culinary & Bartenders Union Calls for Contract Negotiations to Begin Immediately
LAS VEGAS, NV – The Culinary and Bartenders Union have been certified as the legal collective bargaining representatives of more than 500 workers at the Trump International Hotel Las Vegas. The certification comes after the Regional Director for the office of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) covering Las Vegas rejected the hotel’s objections to the result of an NLRB-supervised secret-ballot election last December. The action will be final unless the NLRB exercises its limited discretion to review.
“…I overrule the objections, and I shall certify the Petitioner as the representative of the appropriate bargaining unit,” wrote NLRB Regional Director Cornele Overstreet in his March 21 decision.
From the Decision:
CERTIFICATION OF REPRESENTATIVE
IT IS HEREBY CERTIFIED that a majority of the valid ballots have been cast for Local Joint Executive Board of Las Vegas, A/W Unite Here International Union, and that it is the exclusive representative of all the employees in the following bargaining unit:
All full-time, regular part-time, and on-call employees in housekeeping, food and beverage (including all pool employees), and guest services employed by the Employer at the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In its latest effort to avoid unionization, Trump Las Vegas has indicated it will request the NLRB in Washington D.C. to review the certification decision. The NLRB only grants review in limited circumstances, and the Union expects the company to lose again.
“We voted for a union so we could negotiate a fair contract with Mr. Trump,” Jeffrey Wise, a food server at the Trump Las Vegas. “We voted and won – now it’s time for him to listen to us, the voters, and finally do the right thing by making a deal with his employees.
“A Union contract provides for job security, good health benefits, and fair wages,” said Geoconda Arguello-Kline, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union. “Mr. Trump says he wants to make America great again – he has a great opportunity to start right here in Las Vegas at his hotel. His employees are eager to start contract negotiations, especially after Trump Toronto employees got a deal signed in one month. If he can negotiate in Canada, surely ‘The Great Negotiator’ can make a deal in the USA as well.”
“If Donald Trump is too busy on the campaign trail, we will gladly meet with Eric Trump, the president of Trump Las Vegas,” said Bethany Khan, Communications Director for the Culinary Union. “Eric has incorrectly claimed that workers were ‘categorically rejecting the union’ – we hope he recognizes the NLRB decision and ends this practice of expansive litigation. Eric has described the hotel as having ‘a strong relationship’ with its employees, which we believe would be a great foundation for a first fair union contract at Trump Las Vegas.”
Trump Las Vegas workers voted in an 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 Republican Presidential candidate 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.
Donald Trump’s company has driven an aggressive anti-union campaign since workers began organizing at his property in 2014. The NLRB has issued three separate unfair labor practice complaints against Trump Las Vegas since then, alleging conduct ranging from firing and threatening to fire union supporters, suspending employees, interrogating and intimidating employees, including by a manager pushing them, and maintaining illegal rules that prohibited employees from communicating with each other and the public. Trump Las Vegas has settled many of the allegations, and others remain pending before the NLRB. Most recently, the NLRB’s general counsel issued a complaint in March 2016 alleging the company fired a union supporter and denied a transfer to a full-time job to another, while promising more job opportunities to workers if they abandoned their support for the Union. The hearing date for this case is to be determined.
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.