Trumped: Court Rejects NLRB Certification of ‘Card-Check’ Unionization at Casino

In 2007 the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America campaigned to organize the card dealers at the Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, N.J. Days before the election, the union assembled federal, state and local politicians, Trump employees and union organizers for a mock card-check vote, broadcast by a local TV station that subsequently announced that a majority of Trump card dealers favored unionization, as proved by the cards displayed on television.

Three representative politicians then signed a "card-check certification" on camera that they said verified a majority of vote-eligible employees had signed cards supporting the union.

(Card check is a process by which union organizers prove that there is enough support for a union organizing vote by obtaining "let's-proceed" signatures from a majority of those to be affected by the union.)

The union then circulated the certificate among Trump card dealers, and when the unionization vote was held a few days after the ceremony, the union won, 324 to 149.

Though the union won and was certified as the legitimate collective bargaining unit for card dealers at the casino by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Trump Plaza refused to negotiate with the union. The NLRB filed unfair labor practice charges, and Trump argued that the union was never legally organized.

The casino challenged the Union’s election based on its misleading voters through the mock card check ceremony and by indicating that the “government—including the NLRB—‘endorsed and supported the Union in the election….undermining governmental (and NLRB) neutrality.’ “

This past month an appeals court sided with the casino, noting: “While the Union had won the hand, Trump Plaza did not fold.” The court further observed that the NLRB was "plainly wrong" when it claimed that the mock card-check ceremony and involvement of government officials on television, coupled with the subsequent circulation of the "card check certificate," had no influence on the vote.

The court has cast aside the election and ordered a re-do.

NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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