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Anthony Quintano

Kavanaugh Helped Trump Bust Union in Atlantic City

As a judge, Kavanaugh overruled the NLRB allowing Trump to stop a union drive at Trump Plaza

Kris LaGrange's picture
Jul 31, 2018

Any reader of UCOMM Blog knows that Trump is at war with organized labor. He announced his support for a National Right to Work law and put the justice on the court who decided the Janus case. Now, Trump wants to put his personal union buster on the Supreme Court for life.

Brett Kavanaugh was nominated by Trump in July to fill the seat of the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. At the time, UCOMM took a look at his labor record and it wasn’t pretty. Not included in that case history was one that directly dealt with Trump. In 2012, Trump Entertainment Resorts was trying to stop a union campaign by the United Autoworkers (UAW) at their Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City and the case came before Kavanaugh and the Republican-dominated court.

The case centered around a successful union vote at the casino in 2007. Six days before the vote, UAW held a press conference with elected officials touting the organizing they did. When the vote took place, the employees voted 324-149 in favor of joining the UAW. However, Trump sued saying that the press conference tainted the election. They claimed that since elected officials were at the press conference, it inferred to the employees that the National Labor Relations Board supported their union campaign. In the years following an NLRB judge agreed with the UAW’s vote, a 2-member NLRB panel upheld it and a panel of three NLRB members ruled that Trump was violating federal law by refusing to negotiate a contract. Finally, the case made it’s way to Kavanaugh’s court.

In Kavanaugh’s decision, he claimed that the NLRB had ignored circumstantial evidence of the effect of the press conference. The justices decided to send the case back to the NLRB ordering them to reconsider it. This gave Trump enough time to wait out the clock and refuse to negotiate with the employees. In 2014, Trump Plaza closed, and the workers were fired.

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