Politico: Labor board: Trump Las Vegas hotel violated law

The Obama administration threw Donald Trump a regulatory curve ball as he makes his final pitch to working-class voters.

The National Labor Relations Board, the agency charged with enforcing federal labor law, ruled Thursday that the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas violated the National Labor Relations Act by refusing to bargain with a union that represents more than 500 housekeeping, food and beverage and guest services workers there.

The NLRB’s decision orders Trump Ruffin Commercial LLC to recognize and bargain with the workers, who are represented by Nevada’s powerful Culinary Workers Union Local 226, an affiliate of UNITE HERE. The NLRB also ordered the company, owned by Trump and casino owner Phillip Ruffin, to post notices to hotel employees about the violation.

“Mr. Trump is breaking federal law and Trump Hotel Las Vegas is operating illegally,” said Culinary Union Secretary-Treasurer Geoconda Arguello-Kline. “Mr. Trump should accept the federal government’s order to negotiate and treat his workers with respect.”

Trump’s Las Vegas hotel has been wrangling with the Culinary Workers for two years. Trump Ruffin spent more than half a million dollars last year on an anti-union consulting firm. The workers nonetheless voted to affiliate with the Culinary Workers in December 2015, and the NLRB certified the election in March. Since then, the hotel has refused to bargain with the union.

UNITE HERE and the Culinary Workers have since held rallies and protests at the Vegas hotel, and have picketed at other locations like the Trump National Golf Course in Los Angeles. In September, the union initiated a boycott against all of Trump’s properties, including his new hotel at the Old Post Office Pavilion in the nation’s capital. The boycott is backed by the AFL-CIO.

The Las Vegas hotel settled with the union in July over separate allegations of unfair labor practices. Union members said the company fired one union supporter, denied transfer to a full-time job to another, and promised job opportunities to any employees who declined to support the union. The hotel agreed to a settlement of $11,200 in the case.

Trump’s support among union members has been declining. Last week, AFL-CIO internal polling showed it fell from an average 41 percent in June to 33 percent in October in the battleground states of Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida.

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