Trump casinos try to block union electoral victory

Atlantic City – The parent company of three casinos bearing Donald Trump’s name moved today to block the results of a vote by dealers at Trump Plaza to join a labor union.

Trump Entertainment Resorts filed an objection with the National Labor Relations Board seeking to set aside the results of a March 31 election in which dealers voted by a more than 2-to-1 margin to join the United Auto Workers.

The vote was the second this year in which Atlantic City dealers expressed a desire to unionize. Workers at Caesars Atlantic City did so earlier this year. Their union was automatically approved when the casino’s parent company, Harrah’s Entertainment Inc., declined to challenge the election results.

But Trump Entertainment Resorts, already dealing with significant financial challenges and debt, opted to challenge the union vote at Trump Plaza. The union is also seeking an election to establish a union at another Trump property, Trump Marina Hotel Casino.

The UAW’s national offices were closed today, and union officials did not immediately respond to phone and e-mail messages seeking comment on the Trump challenge.

The basis of Trump Plaza’s challenge was a March 25 rally in which the union, U.S. Rep. Robert Andrews, D-N.J., and other politicians counted union pledge cards signed by dealers.

Trump Plaza claims the union wrongly represented to voters that the labor board supported the union in the election, and that the rally gave the false impression that the union was already the certified representative of dealers before the election.

Those actions „destroyed the labratory conditions necessary for a free and fair election,“ Trump Plaza asserted in papers filed with the board.

The company asked the labor board to set aside the results of the vote and order a new election „so that employees are permitted the opportunity to exercise their rights to make a free and un-coerced decision as to whether they desire to be represented by the union.“

The board gave no timetable for ruling on the objection, but its Web site said that in such cases, the board „will investigate the issues in an expeditious manner.“