Workers at the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas reached a contract with management after pushing for negotiations for a year, while management at a Trump hotel in Washington D.C. has agreed to allow a unionization campaign at that property, union officials announced on Wednesday.
The announcement from the hospitality workers union UNITE HERE and its Las Vegas affiliate, the Culinary Workers Union Local 226, resolves a labor dispute that lasted throughout the presidential campaign.
“We are pleased to have a strong union contract that protects workers,” said Bethany Khan, spokeswoman for the Culinary Union. “We welcome the Trump Hotel Las Vegas workers to the Culinary Union family and we look forward to 2017, where we will continue fighting everyday so that workers have the opportunity to provide for their families.”
Workers angered that Trump employees still didn’t have a contract months after they’d voted for unionization were some of the most dedicated in the effort to stop Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, and are largely credited with helping turn swing state Nevada blue when national trends favored Republicans.
UNITE HERE called for a boycott of Trump properties nationwide in September in response to the contract negotiation delays in Las Vegas. The Culinary Union staged large protests and marches outside the high-rise hotel, and highlighted the dispute in making their case against the candidate.
“We know Trump as an employer, and that means we know what Trump would be like as a president,” said Yvanna Cancela, then-political director of the Culinary Union, in an October interview. “What he’s done at his hotel is a microcosm of what he would do if he were president. He doesn’t respect the law.”
The National Labor Relations Board issued a ruling Nov. 3 that found the hotel was engaging in an unfair labor practice by failing to bargain with workers. The board ordered the hotel to negotiate, although legal experts said the case could have dragged on through the courts for years without resolution if management resisted.
Movement on the contract happened after Trump won the election. Khan said negotiations took place over three days last week and workers unanimously voted to ratify the contract on Saturday.
More than 500 housekeepers, food and beverage workers at hotel are represented by the union. Khan says the new contract will bring pay raises, a pension and health benefits comparable to those at many Las Vegas Strip casinos. She declined to provide details but said the average wage for workers represented by the Culinary Union on the Las Vegas Strip is $23 per hour, with free health care and a pension plan.
The new contract for the Trump hotel workers takes effect Jan. 1 and expires May 31, 2021.
Officials with UNITE HERE Local 25 also announced Trump management agreed to allow a campaign to establish a union for workers at the newly opened Trump hotel in Washington D.C. hotel located in the Old Post Office building.
That means management will not oppose a union organizing drive to convince enough eligible workers to join so the union can become their official bargaining representative.
Trump Hotels CEO Eric Danizger said Wednesday that management shares “mutual goals with the Union” at the Washington hotel.
He added: “We both desire to ensure outstanding jobs for the employees, while also enabling the hotel to operate successfully in a competitive environment, and to establish a reputation as one of the finest hotels in the world.”
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