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Trump Waging Battle Against Union in His Las Vegas Hotel

August 1, 2016
Plain English Version
Workers picketing at Trump Hotel in Las Vegas.

Workers picketing at Trump Hotel in Las Vegas. Photo credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

What is a trade union? It is a group of workers who come together to bargain with the owner of a business. Workers have a right to do this.

Donald Trump owns a hotel in Las Vegas. The workers at the hotel formed a union. Trump is opposing the union. He says it was not formed in a legal way.

That is an old story. Business owners almost always fight unions. What makes this story different? Donald Trump is running for president. He says he is a friend of workers.

Sometimes the business owner can outdo the union. For example, he can pay his workers more than union workers earn. In the case of Trump’s hotel, the pay for housekeepers is $15 an hour. Not bad. But union workers in Vegas are earning $18 an hour.

Business owners often go to court to overturn the union elections. Trump has done this to overturn his Las Vegas hotel workers. But the federal agency in charge says the result of the election will stand. Trump continues to try to find other ways to stop the union.

It is hard to have it both ways. Unions fight for better wages. That helps families.  Owners want lower wages. Higher wages cut into their profits.

What is going on in Las Vegas is about politics, money and the presidential election. Trump’s fight with the union may help elect Hillary Clinton. How valid is Trump’s claim that he is for workers when he is against their union?

So far, Trump will not meet with the union. The members claim he is harassing the workers who want a union. Trump claims it is the workers who are doing the harassing. That argument often happens in union struggles.

It is not a good fight to have when you are running for president as a friend to workers.

Source: The New York Times July 29, 2016


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