Saturday, July 2, 2016

That Time Trump Spent $500,000 to Stop Hotel Maids From Unionizing

Trump is trying to sell the idea that he's the billionaire of the working man. The irony is that he's neither. Yesterday, Greg Sargent talked about Trump's impressive ability to get the opposition of both the AFL-CIO and the Chamber of Commerce.

"Powerful business groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers are blasting Trump on trade (though they don’t officially endorse or oppse in presidential races). The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s president, Tom Donohue, has a piece this morning ripping into Trump’s protectionism, arguing that global trade has created far more winners than losers and has benefited America. The head of the National Association of Manufacturers has repeatedly blastedTrump along similar lines."

"Meanwhile, on MSNBC last night, AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka tore into Trump as a huckster on the trade issue. Trumka cited the newsthat Trump clothing products were manufactured in countries like Bangladesh and China, and added: “Trump was the chief cheerleader and beneficiary of the trade policies until he discovered out in the hinterlands of Pennsylvania and Ohio this is a powerful, powerful issue. Then he flips over and now is against trade. He’s got the right position right now but nobody believes him.”

“When it comes down to it, both business and labor understand that Trump is a complete fraud on trade,” Josh Goldstein, a spokesperson for the AFLCIO, tells me. “Trump is using trade as his core issue right now, and both sides adamantly disagree with him on it.”

I have to say big unions like that, fascinate me. They know a lot more than they say is clear.

At least they are not repeating the mistake of 1968 when they endorsed Richard Nixon.

If you want more evidence of Trump's fraudulent support for the working guy here it is.

"GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump fashions himself a friend of union workers. He has bragged about having good relationships with labor unions. When the AFL-CIO recently endorsed his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, Trump claimed it was he who deserved the labor federation’s coveted backing."

“I believe [union] members will be voting for me in much larger numbers than for her,” Trump declared last month.

Before entering the voting booth, those union members might want to know how much money one of Trump’s businesses has spent in an effort to persuade low-wage workers not to unionize.

"The Culinary Workers Union recently organized housekeepers and other service workers at the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas. The union won the election in December — but not without a fight from hotel owners Trump Ruffin Commercial LLC. That’s a joint venture between the likely GOP nominee and casino magnate Phil Ruffin, himself a major financial backer of Trump’s presidential run."

"According to Labor Department disclosure forms reviewed by The Huffington Post, Trump Ruffin shelled out more than half a million dollars last year to a consulting firm that combats union organizing efforts. The money was paid from Trump Ruffin to Cruz & Associates in a series of seven payments between July and December, totaling $560,631."

"Nearly $285,000 of that money was paid over the course of two weeks in December, shortly after the hotel held its union election."

"Despite the heavy investment from Trump Ruffin, the union prevailed by a vote of 238 to 209. Trump Ruffin argued in a filing with the National Labor Relations Board that the union illegally swayed the vote, but a regional director for the NLRB rejected those claims. The hotel has asked that the board members in Washington review that decision. According to an NLRB spokeswoman, the board has not yet determined whether it will grant that review."

"A lawyer for Trump and a campaign spokeswoman did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the payments. Lupe Cruz, the owner of Cruz & Associates, did not respond to a voicemail left at his office on Friday."

Don't kid yourself. This is far from exhaustive of his long history of working against the interests of the average guy."

Off topic: this is a great bit by Bill Mahrer on what happened in California with Democratic dominance in Tom Brown's home state. Even Michael Moore RTed.
Mahrer  makes a strong case. In terms of everything from partisanship to demographics this is arguably where the Dems want to take the country and the results are looking pretty good, particularly compared with conservative paradises like Bobby Jindal's Louisiana and Sam Brownback's Kansas. 
I also like his jibe about Donald Trump: he's the one who gets richer the less cash he gets. 

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