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By Jaclyn Diaz
Workers who clean rooms and serve food and drinks at the Trump International Hotel Las Vegas voted unanimously Dec. 17 to ratify a four-year contract that includes annual raises and a pension, their unions announced Dec. 21.
The agreement ends a high-profile process that began in December 2015, when the workers voted to join the UNITE HERE Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and the Bartenders Union Local 165. The hotel is operated by President-elect Donald Trump’s company, Trump Ruffin Commercial LLC.
The company had refused to bargain with the unions and the National Labor Relations Board ruled on Nov. 3 that the company’s actions violated federal labor law ( Trump Ruffin Commercial, LLC, 2016 BL 367465, 364 N.L.R.B. No. 143, 11/3/16).
Trump Ruffin appealed that decision the next day to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Bethany Khan, a spokesperson for Local 226, said the union fully expects the appeal to be dropped now that an agreement has been ratified. Attorneys representing the Trump organization did not respond to questions from Bloomberg BNA.
About 500 people work at the 64-story hotel. The agreement provides them with annual wage increases, a pension, family health care and job security.
Union officials said the terms are comparable to other Las Vegas strip employee union contracts, but they would not provide further details on the negotiated packages.
The contract is effective Jan. 1 and expires May 31, 2021.
UNITE HERE Local 25 in Washington, D.C., and the Trump International Hotel also announced Dec. 21 they have reached an agreement under which the company will not interfere with the future organizing campaign for employees. The hotel opened in October in the historic Old Post Office building on Pennsylvania Avenue near the White House.
Eric Danziger, CEO of Trump Hotels, called Local 25 an important partner in Washington.
“We share mutual goals with the Union, as we both desire to ensure outstanding jobs for the employees, while also enabling the hotel to operate successfully in a competitive environment, and to establish a reputation as one of the finest hotels in the world,” Danziger said in a statement.
John Boardman, the executive secretary-treasurer of Local 25, told Bloomberg BNA Dec. 21 that there’s no set timeline on when the union will begin organizing, but he said it will be done in the near future.
If the employees vote to unionize, Local 25 hopes to negotiate a deal similar to the Las Vegas agreement, Boardman said.
“I am optimistic given the tenor of the Trump Organization that the partners have an interest in making sure that workers have a good job and can support their families,” he said.
He expects the hotel to employ between 120 and 135 employees.
Trump Hotel’s agreement with Local 25 suggests the employees in Washington will have a much smoother time organizing than the workers in Las Vegas.
After the Las Vegas employees voted 238-209 for union representation a year ago, Trump Ruffin refused to bargain. The company told the NLRB that the vote was tainted by intimidation and coercion.
The union filed an unfair labor practice charge and the board found that the company had violated Section 8(a)(5) of the National Labor Relations Act.
To contact the reporter on this story: Jaclyn Diaz in Washington at jDiaz@bna.com
Copyright © 2016 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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