Since 2012, Marisela Olvera has tucked in the sheets, folded the towels, and vacuumed the floors of Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas.
However, unlike the other thousands of hospitality workers in America, her boss is running for president.
When asked about Trump as a president, Olvera had this to say:
“He says he wants to make America great. Well, he should start here in his own house, his own business. He always brags about how he has millions and millions and millions of dollars, but he pays his workers less than most in Las Vegas.”
During this past week, the hotel’s upper management struck down the union and wanted the federal labor board to throw out a December 5th election in which a majority of hospitality workers voted for representation by Culinary Workers Union and Bartenders Union.
Last year when employees threatened to unionize, management at the Trump hotel hired a “union avoidance” consulting firm called Lupe Cruz and Associates.
Furthermore, they pride themselves on a preserving a union-free work place…for some reason.
Apparently, employees of Lupe Cruz met with the entire hospitality staff and intimidated them into squashing hopes of unionization.
Olvera said this:
“They intimidated us a lot. I know I can’t speak ill of the place where I work, but I’m allowed to speak the truth, and the truth is that they pressured us a lot [to vote no]. They told us the union only wants our money, that if we supported the union we’d lose our jobs, that the company would put our names on a blacklist and no other hotels in Las Vegas would hire us. They told us to think of what our children would do if we were out of work. Everyone was very stressed. People were afraid. We still won, even with all that pressure.”
Olvera’s motivation to unionize is to ensure better health insurance and fairer treatment for employees.
Olvera has three co-workers with cancer who can’t pay their medical bills because the current insurance plan doesn’t cover treatment.
Olvera kept pushing, and when she learned unionized workers at nearby hotels earned $3 more per hour and received better health insurance, she doubled her efforts.
Luckily for Olvera, her case will be heard by the NLRB on January 5th.
The workers have received widespread support, and three Democrats running for president have endorsed them as well.
It seems like the time-clock is ticking for Trump’s hotel in Las Vegas.
He already runs unionized hotels in Toronto and New York City, and if he claims to be a man of the people, then he should give his people what they want.
As Olvera says:
“Hopefully, Donald Trump will just listen to his heart and come sign a contract so we can have better pay, better benefits, better everything. I will feel calmer when that happens, when I know my family will be protected. So we will continue to fight until we have a contract.”