By Sahid Fawaz
It turns out that President Donald Trump’s nominee for the country’s highest court ruled in favor of one of Trump’s casinos in quashing union activity.
“Six years before President Donald Trump nominated him for the Supreme Court, Judge Brett Kavanaugh sided with Trump Entertainment Resorts’ successful effort to thwart a unionization drive at one of its casinos.
Trump Plaza asked the labor board to throw out the election, saying it had been tainted by the pre-election press conference and other shows of support from politicians that the company said could make workers think the labor board wanted them to unionize. Labor law doesn’t prohibit politicians from supporting or opposing union campaigns, or unions from announcing that they have majority support. But under NLRB precedent, conduct that makes the NLRB itself seem biased can be grounds for invalidating an election.
An NLRB judge rejected the company’s arguments. So did a panel of two NLRB members, including a Republican appointed by President George W. Bush. They wrote that regardless of whether there was anything improper about the UAW’s pre-election event, given the lack of evidence that many employees knew about the event, as well as the UAW’s wide margin of victory, the company hadn’t shown the proof required to overturn an election.
In 2010, after a panel of three Democratic NLRB members ruled that the Trump Plaza was violating federal law by refusing to negotiate with the UAW, the company brought its case to the D.C.-based federal appeals court where Kavanaugh has been a judge since 2006.
At arguments in 2012, an attorney for the company accused the UAW of mounting an ‘elaborate hoax’ that could create a ‘bandwagon effect’ where workers don’t vote against the union because they think it will win anyway.
Kavanaugh pushed back on claims from both sides but directed his harshest comments at the NLRB’s attorney, saying it ‘defies common sense’ to argue that news of the pre-election press conference wouldn’t be widespread, and suggesting that could be a reason to send the case back to the agency for reconsideration.”
For the rest of the story, visit Bloomberg here.