LAS VEGAS (PAI) – A top National Labor Relations Board official has ruled that Unite Here Local 226 won the union representation vote last December at Donald Trump’s Las Vegas casino, 238-209, out of 523 eligible voters.
The March 21 ruling by Regional Director Cornele Overstreet also ordered the casino management to begin bargaining with the union on a contract for the workers. The union said it expects the casino to continue to fight the union by appealing the case to the full board.
“The NLRB only grants review in limited circumstances, and the union expects the company to lose again,” Local 226 said.
The Trump Las Vegas casino case is notable because of the Trump name, and his prominence – or notoriety – as the leading Republican presidential contender at this point. His presence on the campaign trail last year prompted the Democratic hopefuls, then in town for the Nevada AFL-CIO convention to speak out for and picket with the Local 226 workers.
“We voted for a union so we could negotiate a fair contract with Mr. Trump,” food server Jeffrey Wise told Local 226. “We voted and won – now it’s time for him to listen to us, the voters, and finally do the right thing by making a deal with his employees.”
“A union contract provides for job security, good health benefits, and fair wages,” said Geoconda Arguello-Kline, the Local 226 Secretary-Treasurer.
“Mr. Trump says he wants to make America great again – he has a great opportunity to start right here in Las Vegas at his hotel. His employees are eager to start contract negotiations, especially after Trump Toronto employees got a deal signed in one month. If he can negotiate in Canada, surely ‘The Great Negotiator’ can make a deal in the U.S. as well.”
But if Trump won’t bargain with Local 226, he can send his son, Eric, the president of the casino, to do so, added union Communications Director Bethany Khan. Eric Trump had claimed the workers would categorically reject the union, but the vote showed they did not.
“We hope he recognizes the NLRB decision and ends this practice of expensive litigation. Eric described the hotel as having ‘a strong relationship’ with its employees, which we believe would be a great foundation for a first fair contract at Trump Las Vegas,” she said.
Overstreet overruled all 15 of the casino’s objections to the election certification, which centered on the casino’s claim that workers who served as committee leaders during Local 226’s organizing drive should be treated as “agents” of the local – and that they broke labor law in various ways. Overstreet first ruled the committee leaders weren’t agents, and then dismissed the casino’s law-breaking claims. The casino claimed the agents illegally spied on workers, threatened to report one anti-union worker to OSHA, took pictures of voters at the polls and tore down NLRB notices.
Photo: On the day of the GOP caucus in Nevada, hundreds picketed at Trump International Hotel Las Vegas, Culinary Workers Union Local 226, Facebook.