LAS VEGAS (CN) - Owners of the Trump Hotel Las Vegas claim in court that local labor unions lied that Donald Trump stayed at a union hotel - not the one bearing his name -during a recent campaign stop in Las Vegas.
Trump Ruffin Commercial and Trump Ruffin Tower I, owners of Trump Hotel Las Vegas, sued the Culinary Workers Union Local 226, Bartenders Union Local 165, and the Local Joint Executive Board on Oct. 14 in Federal Court. Ruffin claims the unions knowingly distributed false flyers that claim Trump did not stay at a Trump hotel, but at a union one, during a two-day stay in October.
Trump stayed at the Trump Las Vegas on Oct. 7-8 for an Oct. 8 campaign speech slated for the hotel, but "due to overwhelming public demand to attend the speech," organizers moved the speech to a larger room at the Treasure Island casino, Ruffin says in the complaint.
It claims the unions, which are trying to organize the nonunion hotel, used the move to try to "damage the reputation of the hotel" by making people think it isn't good enough for Trump.
The union flyer states in bold letters at the top: "When Donald Trump stays in Las Vegas, he stays at a UNION hotel !"
The flyer adds: "Donald Trump is in Las Vegas this evening. Even though he owns a hotel here, he is staying at the Treasure Island Hotel & Casino," and "If Trump chooses to stay in a union hotel, why can't Trump Hotel workers choose to form a union?"
Trump Ruffin says it notified the unions that the flyers were false, and that the unions acknowledged they knew Trump stayed at the Trump Las Vegas, but that "the union continues to publish the flyer and the false and deceptively misleading statements contained therein."
In a September "Travel Alert" on the Internet, the Culinary Workers Union claimed that the Trump hotel, in a "vicious anti-union campaign," unfairly suspended five workers last year for wearing union buttons and organizing coworkers, and that many workers are upset by Trump's widely circulated comments on immigration.
"In June 2015, the Culinary Union filed additional charges with the National Labor Relations Board asserting that the Trump Las Vegas violated the federally protected rights of workers to participate in union activities. Some of the new charges include incidents of alleged physical assault, verbal abuse, intimidation, and threats by management," the union says on its Sept. 23 Travel Alert .
The union claims most of the hotel's 500 workers want union representation, but in its lawsuit Trump Ruffin calls that an "unsupported exaggeration," and that "many of the just over 500 total Trump Hotel Las Vegas' employees are not in favor of the union."
In the lawsuit, Ruffin cites the website trumpunionfree.org , which states that "Trump Las Vegas workers overwhelmingly oppose union representation," and that "What also makes this city so great, is the opportunity to work for businesses and compete for careers, without the outside influence of corrupt organizations who use local workers for personal gain."
The "Facts" page of that website, purportedly published by Trump Las Vegas workers, states that "tyrannical and selfish union leaders are waging a war against a shiny luxury five-star hotel ... in an attempt to fatten their own pockets and further ensuring their own financial stability and future by using the majority memberships' hard-earned money."
Hillary Clinton, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination and was in Las Vegas for a debate, joined union protestors outside the Trump Hotel Las Vegas on Oct. 12.
Trump Ruffin seeks damages for false advertising and deceptive trade, and a restraining order and injunction to stop the unions from distributing false information and making false claims about the relationship between Trump and the hotel.
It is represented by Jonathan Fountain, with Lewis Roca Rothgerber.
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