REVEALED: Trump Paid $1.4M Settlement In Class Action Suit Over Undocumented Labor At Trump Tower

The New York Times reports:

In 1980, under pressure to begin construction on what would become his signature project, Donald J. Trump employed a crew of 200 undocumented Polish workers who worked in 12-hour shifts, without gloves, hard hats or masks, to demolish the Bonwit Teller building on Fifth Avenue, where the 58-story, golden-hued Trump Tower now stands.

The workers were paid as little as $4 an hour for their dangerous labor, less than half the union wage, if they got paid at all.

Their treatment led to years of litigation over Mr. Trump’s labor practices, and in 1998, despite frequent claims that he never settles lawsuits, Mr. Trump quietly reached an agreement to end a class-action suit over the Bonwit Teller demolition in which he was a defendant.

The documents show that Mr. Trump paid a total of $1.375 million to settle the case, known as Hardy v. Kaszycki, with $500,000 of it going to a union benefits fund and the rest to pay lawyers’ fees and expenses.

  • netxtown

    …and the workers got jack shit.

    Sounds like the current tax plan…..

    • Gustav2

      Wouldn’t that take a separate ‘class action’ suit because the unions cannot represent the non-union workers?

      • netxtown

        I was trying to figure that out as well. If all of the Polish workers were non-union – then why did the money go to the Union fund. My gut tells me there was collusion by Trump with the attorneys and union to cheat the Polish workers out of any money.

        • Gustav2

          The union fund was an injured party because it didn’t get the monies it would have so they can sue. The Polish workers would be difficult to find and probably not come forward.

          • Ernest Endevor

            That sounds about right.

        • juanjo54

          And you would be wrong. Read the case. There was a separate case for wages. This lawsuit was by the union because Trump reneged on the collective bargaining agreement. He did not pay into the health & welfare fund to cover the cost of the benefits paid the workers.

    • Bluto

      “But trump’s gonna eliminate my estate tax! maaaaaga!”

      • jerry

        Wait…you’re wealthy enough to have to pay estate tax? (About 5.5 million estate value) Are you single? Asking for a friend.

      • Erin

        Google is paying 97$ per hour,with weekly payouts.You can also avail this.
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    • juanjo54

      Usually the wage issue is resolved by a state agency, in California it is Labor Division of the Secretary of State. This action was an enforcement action for his violating state and federal employment laws in general.

      • juanjo54

        Yup, separate case on the wages – Donovan v. Kaszycki, 599 F. Supp. 860, 864 (S.D.N.Y.1984)

        This case was on union benefits paid out under the collective bargaining agreement. https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/FSupp/870/489/1647790/

        BTW the contractor was a dummy, had never done this work ever before. Want to take a bet as to whether it was a front set up by the Mafia, maybe with a little cut to a certain entrepreneur with a weird hairdo?

        • prixator

          Might his name be Tronald Dump, by any chance?

    • Piet

      Undocumented workers. They come in all colors, which he tries very hard to cover up by concentrating on Mexicans. Here in the Bay Area, there are a lot of undocumented Irish guys – for a long time, they were the backbone of the moving business, which is pretty much run on a cash basis.

  • Tawreos

    Maybe we should only have Trump articles when he actually tells the truth about something. It would help to keep us all from getting Trump burnout, of course, we might never have another Trump article again.

  • IDavid

    Well at least he didn’t destroy an entire people, like we did to build America. Similar bs though.

    • Halou

      If Trump were alive at the time he would have. Andrew Jackson is his most favouritest American ever! A portrait of the man was hanging on the wall when he made a ‘Pocahontas’ reference to the Navajo veterans.

      • IDavid

        I completely agree with you. Trump is completely out of touch via psychotic break and demonstrably arrogant towards the masses, or those with what he considers low income, or about 98 percent of the population. Silver spoon psychosis I call it.

  • Gigi

    “Trump paid a total of $1.375 million to settle the case…with $500,000 of it going to a union benefits fund and the rest to pay lawyers’ fees and expenses.”

    So the workers who risked their health and their lives got diddly?

    • Gustav2

      I bet the Union cannot ‘represent’ those workers, that would be a separate suit.

    • ColdCountry

      They’d have to come forward, and being undocumented, I doubt they would. An unfortunate situation, for sure. Kind of like the undocumented workers in the Twin Towers. A lot of their families were afraid to come forward, so they never knew for sure. And we will never know for sure how many people died that day.

  • Leo

    Same story, different day. Visas for workers to fly in more workers to Mar-a-lago a couple weeks ago too but no one blinks. “He’s taking advantage of the loopholes, good businessman omgz” is what the deplorables say. Next.

    Deep down I want to think a lot of his voters in coal country and the Rust Belt know he could care less about them but they’re buying into the mirage, his resentment and the nihilism. Self shame manifest in a way, if that makes sense.

    • worstcultever

      It does to me. I’d just call it mass mental illness. Fox News and Limba have destroyed this country.

      • Tawreos

        Sadly, we can’t blame it all on Fox and Limbaugh, the willingness of the American voter to be ignorant and allow that ignorance to be used by whomever feels like it is really to blame.

        • worstcultever

          But there was never this much pointless ignorance before RW radio and cable “news,” just pounding propaganda into peoples’ heads 24/7, to the point it’s their comfort blankie they can’t live without.

          • sadoldguy

            RW radio and cable “news” tells them that the way to make it better is for ‘others’ to suffer.

    • sadoldguy

      The fans love trump because he pisses people off. They are all trolls at heart. They have no real aspirations, no long term goals. Once upon a time being white was enough to have a life, but now that they have lost some of their privilege they are without hope. All they have left is senseless aggression. Try reading comments elsewhere, it’s all about taking joy in others suffering.

      • JCF

        As long as it makes blacks/Mexicans/feminists/Jews/gays/college graduates cry tears of impotent rage…It’s All Good! /s

    • JCF

      “These supporters will not change their minds, because this is what they
      always wanted: a president who embodies the rage they feel toward those
      they hate and fear, while reassuring them that that rage is nothing to
      be ashamed of.”

      https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/11/the-nationalists-delusion/546356/

      I’m only this far into this amazing essay, and look at this pull-out quote.

  • OdieDenCO

    $500K to union benefits and $875K to lawyers, but nothing to the abused workers?

    • Bluto

      “They knew what they signed up for.”

      Yeah, disgusting. Even with the settlement it was damn cheap labor at their expense. murica.

      • dRump probably went out of his way to lose all those names.

    • juanjo54

      The workers received compensation in a separate lawsuit. This lawsuit was over the payments required from the contractor to the union benefits fund.

  • BobSF_94117

    The documents show that Mr. Trump paid a total of $1.375 million to settle the case, known as Hardy v. Kaszycki, with $500,000 of it going to a union benefits fund and the rest to pay lawyers’ fees and expenses.

    In this case, fuck the union, too. This is what has been wrong with the American labor movement for decades. To them, it’s not about labor, it’s only about membership. They act like they don’t owe the working man a damned thing. The only “solidarity” they know is solidarity to their fat bank accounts.

    • worstcultever

      Organized anything always devolves to petty power-mongering and fiefdoms. Seems to be in our DNA, alas.

      • BobSF_94117

        It’s not in the DNA of labor movements in some other countries.

      • Pluto Animus

        Organizations create checks and balances to minimize abuses all the time.

        Why can’t unions?

    • Ernest Endevor

      I’d just say that my unions are terrific. They made my working life possible. I was a member of three, though only used one on a regular basis. I don’t understand many other unions in the US.

      • BobSF_94117

        Unions are terrific (despite their flaws). I wish we still had as many covered workers as we used to. 1) the economy would be much better for everyone and 2) the govt would be Dem. OR the GOP would be a very, very different party.

        • Ernest Endevor

          Word.

    • clay

      Do you know for a fact that the Union Benefits Fund paid out considerably less than $500,000 to those workers? It would be a wise membership recruiting tactic.

      • BobSF_94117

        I see nothing in the article to suggest that the illegal immigrant workers became union members. I suppose it’s possible, though I’d be shocked (and pleased).

        • juanjo54

          Bob – check out the roofer’s union in San Francisco – it is mostly immigrant Chinese and Latino, a sizable portion of whom are non-citizens, many without papers which would stand scrutiny. Likewise the Restaurant and Hotel Workers Union Local 2 has a sizable immigrant membership.

          Unions have been at the forefront of the push for legalization of status for long time residents without papers.

    • juanjo54

      Bob – have you ever been in a union? My experience is that unions are and have been for a long time, at the forefront of worker safety, enforcement of labor standards on employment, health, wages etc.

      I have not seen the contracts for this work but New York was a strong union town and it is possible that the contract required these workers to be in the union. It is equally possible that Trump did an under the table deal with a contractor using non-union labor and paying cash, although that a pretty blatant effort – a large construction project with a lot of men on it. I would think the Laborer’s Local would have been looking closely at a project that size as it would have employed a lot of laborers.

    • -M-

      Reading the article, there was a separate suit that got money owed to the workers.

      This one was about Trump and the contractor shortchanging the union’s welfare fund. Sounded like that involved collusion between them and a union functionary.

      • BobSF_94117

        Ah. That makes sense. Over and over again, I get lessons in not leaping to conclusions. And yet…

  • Leo
    • netxtown

      I certainly hope when Mueller’s rubber band snaps – it shears donnie’s nuts – leaving him impotent and useless – and convicted.

      • Tawreos

        I am pretty sure that right now the only thing that would be new to Trump’s attributes is convicted.

      • clay

        Are you attempting to reclaim imagery from Jodi Ernst?

    • Pluto Animus

      Am I the only one here whose jaw is on the floor?

      It looks like Mueller sent Woolsey to chat up Trump about… who knows what!

      Seriously, people, I’m really trying not to get excited here, but…

      WOOLSEY COULD HAVE BEEN WEARING A WIRE!

      MAKING TRUMP SAY COMPLETELY INCRIMINATING THINGS!

      (Holy shit, I never, ever use all caps.)

      • Bj Lincoln

        That would be great if it’s true.

      • ColdCountry

        To dream, the impossible dream….

      • JCF

        Heh, you had the same thought I did (OK, 8 hours ago. ;-/)

    • The_Wretched

      More obstruction and witness tampering?

    • JCF

      So is this a good thing, or not? Was Woolsey giving away Mueller’s gameplan…

      ….or could Woolsey have been wearing a wire???

      I literally do not know how to feel about this.

  • BeaverTales

    Immigration laws only apply to the little brown people.

    • Halou

      There couldn’t ever have been too many Soviet migrants.
      After all, we’ve got to get along well with Russia.

  • JT

    OT

    Is there any gay male activity in Godless?

    • Tawreos

      According to some people, all gay male activity is godless so I would expect a show named that to be wall to wall gay orgies.

      • JT

        What one would expect and what there is are two different things.

    • HZ81

      The Netflix show? No, although I thought about it while watching Jack O’Connell. Lady love, though, so our peeps are represented.

      • JT

        That’s what I thought. They just can’t bring themselves to include reality in such a show where the hetero male cowboy imagery is viewed as iconic. Jack O’Connell is sizzling though.

        • HZ81

          Yes, I would have loved to see Jack do things with other cowboys, but you should watch it. It’s rather good.

          • JT

            I am. Jack O’Connor is super hot. I find the scenes where he’s being taught to read and where he’s developing a relationship with the boy Truckee very affecting.

          • HZ81

            He just is and such a good actor. The whole thing is great and I loved Truckee. And I love Merritt Weaver (from ole Nurse Jackie) as the sheriff’s butch lesbian sister. She’s excellent. And Jeff Daniels as a villain? Great cast all around. I will not spoil, I swear. Maybe Joe will send us a tv open thread!

  • netxtown

    OT: kinda

    Was clicking on different links at CBS news…and wound up on a page discussing COPD. What was interesting was the highest percentage of COPD in the US is focused squarely on the east coast coal mine areas. And wasn’t donnie advocating to ‘bring back them coal jobs!” ? He knows the dust in the mines will kill the workers…but the mine owners will make a handsome profit….and he’s defunding the ACA – which will throw these COPD patients back to public hospitals – which then plays back to taxpayer support. Fuck donald trump.

  • Kevin Andrews

    The Shitgibbon defines exactly what it is in every action. A low-life, scum-sucking, greedy slime-ball with absolutely no redeeming qualities. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8f6c2ac98fc1f60da04cdd60143df7d63046de6ef34b87bfb0fcd150bb2874d0.png

  • Acronym Jim

    Trump was up to all kinds of fuckery with the Bonwitt Teller demolition. Not only did he employ undocumented immigrants at slave wages (and conditions), he had also promised as part of the sale to save the iconic Art Deco friezes on the building as well as the ornate nickel grillwork over the main entrance. The friezes were jack-hammered to bits and the grillwork disappeared. Trump “spokesman” John Baron claimed that the friezes had been appraised by three separate art conservators and been found that they had “no artistic value” and that the organization “had no idea” what happened to the grillwork. John Baron, of course, was the pseudonym used by Trump.

    • clay

      Turmp also violated the preservation portion of the contract on the Old Post Office building in DC.

    • Paul

      I remember the article on the front page of the Times when those friezes were destroyed (and yes, they quoted ‘John Baron’). I looked it up and it was June 6, 1980. It also marked the day I first despised Donald Trump. I got in early and beat the rush. I can’t wait for the day when his name is ignominiously ripped off the front of that ugly building.

    • The_Wretched

      That man has no taste.

      • RoFaWh

        The understatement of the millennium.

  • An no $$ to the 200 workers who were grossly underpaid?

    • Clive Johnson

      And whose health was possibly damaged?

  • ColdCountry

    See? He pays his bills….

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    Well, well, well…Mr. ‘I hate me them Foreigners’ had to settle…or as Fox will put it, “in the spirit of generosity and fair play, Mr. Trump AKA man god, paid these sad, pathetic lowly people a bit of cash to make them go away…such is his largesse”

  • Halou

    Did the Soviet Union have an opinion on this matter when it first came up?

  • clay

    “The workers were paid as little as $4 an hour for their dangerous labor, less than half the union wage, if they got paid at all.”

    . . . and now, he can pay them as little as $1 an hour if they’re in ICE custody!

    • Halou

      Are you suggesting he is only pushing a racist agenda so that he, the “billionaire” with allegedly unlimited money, can avoid paying his workers a legal wage? Hmm, it’s either astonishing greed on his part or he has no money. If only he published his tax returns..

      • clay

        He’s of a class of sociopathic idiot managers who don’t care about the quality of their materials or of their labor. They are (also) tied to a 3 month (rather than 4-8 year) business cycle and to money juggling (gambling, laundering, manipulations).

  • Paula

    He probably made the workers live in old shipping containers on the worksite. Porty potties, bathing from a hose, no food,etc.

  • Tom000

    Trump’s crooked activities are well known in New York, but when he ran for President you didn’t hear a peep from Manhattan. New Yorkers are known for having big mouths, but you chose THEN to keep your yaps shut?

  • juanjo54

    I looked up the case. First of all there was a separate case for the Polish workers over the violation of wage laws. This case was over a violation of the collective bargaining agreement because in addition to hiring and paying these men off the books, the company did not pay into the benefits package under the CBA. The workers were covered by health and dental under that agreement via the union. Hence the money going to the union here.

    What is interesting is that the judge notes the Trump visited the site, knew the men working there were all Polish and praised their hard work favorably vis a vis American workers.

    “The Kaszycki Corporation employed Polish workers who were paid “off-the-books”. Id. No records were kept, no taxes were withheld and the pay was not in accordance with the wage laws. Id. at 805-06. Based on these practices, Kaszycki was later found to have violated certain sections of the Fair Labor Standards Act. See Donovan v. Kaszycki, 599 F. Supp. 860, 864 (S.D.N.Y.1984). Donald Trump visited both the Bonwit Teller job and an adjoining job where he noted that the Polish workers were good workers. Diduck, 774 F. Supp. at 805.”

    https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/FSupp/870/489/1647790/

  • JWC

    Such a Noble man Such a consumate business man

  • trouble94114

    SUPRISE! …not

  • He’s essentially the methane gas spewed from the depths of a rotting landfill pile.

  • leastyebejudged

    This is what all capitalists want, what’s the big deal ?

    Oh, right, you’re pretending you aren’t just as guilty, lol.