When Presidential candidate and real estate billionaire Donald Trump angered amnesty activists with his hard criticism of illegal immigrants, his remarks opened the door of opportunity for UNITE-HERE to target Trump’s non-union hotel workers in Las Vegas.
In protests, Spanish language radio ads, press releases, and Facebook videos, organizers are highlighting Trump Hotel employees’ own immigrant stories, and channeling the Nevada Latino worker community’s outrage at the Republican presidential frontrunner into political and union engagement by a population that makes up the bulk of Trump’s Las Vegas hotel employees – and a powerful swing state voting bloc.
“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 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.”
It should be noted that the union is seeking to unionize Trump’s workers “in an atmosphere of neutrality and respect.” In other words, as UNITE-HERE often does, the union is demanding “card check.”
On its Twitter feed, the union is claiming that there is an “active labor dispute” at Trump’s Las Vegas hotel.
— The Culinary Union (@Culinary226) September 27, 2015
Relatedly, in New York, an immigration protester identified as Estefani Mercedes tried to deliver a large bouquet of yellow dahlias—the National Mexican flower—and failed miserably.