LAS VEGAS (AP) — Donald Trump isn’t in Las Vegas this week but the attention-getting Republican presidential candidate’s gleaming hotel tower is and Democratic challenger Martin O’ Malley paid a visit to make a point about labor unions.
The former governor of Maryland appeared on a crowded street median in front of the Trump International Hotel on Wednesday morning alongside several workers attempting to unionize several hundred more with jobs at the hotel.
“There are no two greater contrasts than an economy that works for all of us and the sort of economy that Donald Trump would seek to have the Republican party construct in the United States than this backdrop,” O’Malley said when asked by a reporter if the location he chose was an attempt to drum up attention.
O’Malley’s visit to Nevada is his first since announcing his run for the Democratic nomination in a race led by Hillary Rodham Clinton followed by Vermont Sen. Bernie, Sanders who is attracting large crowds at campaign stops. Clinton and Sanders were in Las Vegas on Tuesday and O’Malley on Wednesday to speak at Nevada’s annual AFL-CIO Constitutional Convention at the Luxor casino-hotel and vie for coveted union endorsements.
Trump’s campaign did not respond to emailed questions seeking comment about O’Malley’s appearance or the unionizing efforts at the hotel.
Not everyone at the hotel appears keen on joining the union. In a brief break from his job as a doorman for the Trump hotel, 31-year-old Armando Bautista held a sign on the sidewalk in front of the hotel, as O’Malley wrapped up. The sign read: “We do not want the union here.” printed on it.
“I’m happy with what we have,” he said. “We don’t need changes.”
Bautista said the union has harassed him, visiting his home on Father’s Day to pressure him to join. He believes the number of workers at the hotel who want to unionize are in the minority.
Some of those workers held up an enlarged copy of a petition delivered last June to the hotel’s managers that appeared to show nearly 400 signatures stating their desire to form a union. No effort has been made to hold a “card check” where the union would aim to sign up a majority of employees wishing to join. Culinary Union spokeswoman Bethany Khan says the hotel’s management hasn’t cooperated.
Instead, Khan and Geoconda Arguello-Kline with the union said workers have been intimidated and harassed.
The Culinary Union has agreements with nearly every Las Vegas Strip hotel. The group has planned a march from the Strip to the hotel on Friday.
(Copyright 2015 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)