Donald Trump styles himself as the candidate that will have more union members voting for him rather than Hillary Clinton, because of his appeal to working-class voters. He believed he was snubbed when the AFL-CIO endorsed his presumptive Presidential rival. He boasted, “I’ve done very well with unions.” However, the details of Trump’s private actions tell quite a different story of his opinion of unions. Before one steps in a voting booth in November, one should be aware of this.
The Culinary Workers’ union recently organized Trump’s Las Vegas hotel. But the hotel was not unionized without a fight. Trump and co-owner of the hotel, Phillip Ruffin, paid $560,631 between July and December last year to Cruz and Associates, a private consulting firm known for trying to put a stop to organizing efforts by unions. Their goal was to convince enough workers that the union did not have their best interests in mind so the union would lose the election and stop the workers from organizing.
Despite the large sum paid (for comparison, Trump has, as of June 2016, $1.3 million in the coffers for his presidential run) the union still won the right to organize and collectively bargain, voting 238 to 209. Trump contested the results of the election and filed with the NLRB, stating that the union had illegally swayed the election. His claim was dismissed. For such a large sum to be paid to stop a union organizing campaign – especially in comparison to campaign expenditures – is unprecedented, and shows where Trump’s true loyalties lie. In addition, the Culinary Workers’ Union maintains that Trump’s hotel violated labor laws by firing one pro-union employee and attempting to intimidate the remaining pro-union employees. The NLRB says those charges may have merit. The hotel management and union have yet to create a collective bargaining agreement.