A prominent Las Vegas labor union is the target of a lawsuit for claiming Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump stayed at a unionized hotel instead of his own. As of Monday the union has yet to be served legal notice.
The lawsuit, which was obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation, was filed Oct. 14. It alleges two local chapters of Unite Here knowingly lied about Trump staying at a unionized hotel instead of one of his own during a trip to Las Vegas. Owners of Trump Hotel Las Vegas state the claim was to hurt his business and reputation. The two locals, Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165, and the hotel are already in a labor dispute.
“Even though he owns a hotel here, he is staying at the Treasure Island Hotel & Casino,” the union flyer which prompted the lawsuit stated. “Donald Trump has refused to agree to a fair process for workers at his hotel to form a union. If Trump chooses to stay in a union hotel, why can’t Trump Hotel workers choose to form a union?”
The flyer also states workers at Treasure Island are members of the Local 226, make an average of $3.33 more per hour, have affordable health insurance and a secure retirement. The lawsuit was filed by hotel owners Trump Ruffin Commercial and Trump Ruffin Tower I.
“We will not sit idle while the union makes false statements intended to damage the reputation of one of the finest and most luxurious hotels in Las Vegas,” a representative for the hotel told TheDCNF. “We will hold the Union fully accountable for its misrepresentations which harm our business, owners and employees.”
Trump announced his run for president June 16. The flyers stated he stayed at the Treasure Island Hotel Oct. 8. during a campaign stop. The lawsuit detailed that the hotel issued a cease and desist notice not long after the flyers were handed out.
“The leaflet was not defamatory even though Trump Hotel Las Vegas claims it was in error,” Local 226 Spokeswoman Bethany Khan told TheDCNF. “All we have is Donald Trump’s lawyer claiming that he did not ‘stay’ there.”
“Trump does not deny that he spoke at the Treasure Island,” Khan continued. “We have every reason to believe that he probably used one or more rooms at the Treasure Island to prepare.”
Local 226 argued the hotel violated worker labor rights on several occasions. This included the unfair suspension of five employees in 2014 and restricting the right of workers to show union support in 2015.
“There are over 500 workers who are fighting for justice and respect at the Trump Hotel Las Vegas,” Khan stated. “This lawsuit is an effort to distract from the unionizing effort there.”
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) also filed a complaint which stated the hotel used numerous tactics to interfere with workers’ federally-protected rights to unionize. The complaint includes allegations of physical assault, verbal abuse, intimidation and threats by management.
The dispute has even gotten the attention of Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. On Oct. 12 she attacked Trump while speaking at a union protest at his Las Vegas hotel. The Culinary Union is the largest labor union in Nevada representing hotel, food service, laundry and casino workers.
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