Trump’s Largely Latino Workforce Trying to Unionize

DonaldTrump2It seems that Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant racism may have a negative effect on his bottom line. Employees at his Las Vegas hotel, a huge percentage of whom are Latino, are now organizing to join one of the most powerful unions in that state. And they say they’re motivated not only by the fact that they are underpaid compared to the union workers at other hotels, but because of his demonizing rhetoric.

Last month on the campaign trail, Donald Trump called it a “great honor” that workers at the Trump Hotel in Las Vegas had thus far declined to unionize. “They love me,” he said.

But workers were signaling otherwise. That very day, Latino staffers protesting at the Trump Hotel in Las Vegas were using his harsh stance on immigrants to galvanize a majority-Latino workforce to join the Culinary Union, one of the most powerful entities in Nevada politics.

“If Mr Trump wants to make America great again, he should start here,” workers shouted…

“Eighty percent of Trump [culinary] employees are Latino,” Carmen Harull, a Trump Hotel housekeeper from Argentina, told the Guardian. “He is very wrong to say that we’re criminals and drug addicts. We are people who work hard for our families.”

“The idea is to draw on the momentum Trump’s campaign’s has activated within the Latino community,” said the Culinary Union’s political director, Yvanna Cancela. “People are realizing that if they don’t engage on issues like worker’s rights, like voting, like civic engagement, we could very well end up with someone who shares these kind of anti-immigrant sentiments in the White House, whether it’s Donald Trump or one of the other candidates.”

According to the Culinary Union, Trump Hotel employees earn $3.33 less on average than workers who do the same jobs at the Bellagio, Wynn, Caesar’s Palace, the Stratosphere and all of the other 95% of Las Vegas resorts which have organized labor representing hotel staff. In addition to better wages and benefits, organizers are demanding equal treatment and respect, an allusion to the nationalist rhetoric Trump has used throughout his campaign.

Unsurprisingly, Trump may be breaking the law to prevent this from happening:

“Some people are afraid to lose their jobs because of the action we are taking right now,” she Harull, the housekeeper from Argentina. “But most of the workers are with us. It’s going to be a success.”

Asked how the management is responding to her and her cohorts wearing unions buttons to work, Harull said, “They hate us.”

In a complaint filed to the National Labor Relations Board, the Culinary Union has documented numerous incidents of worker intimidation, threats of reprisals and withheld promotions for those engaged in union activity inside the Trump Hotel. A hearing on that complaint is scheduled for November.

This could be fun to watch.

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