Trump hotels reach deal with unions in U.S., ending labour board cases

More than 500 employees enter into four-year agreement guaranteeing annual raises, pension and health-care benefits

(Reuters) - Hotels in Las Vegas and Washington owned by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump have reached agreements with their workers' unions that will bring an end to a series of cases claiming the hotels violated federal labour law, the unions said on Wednesday.

More than 500 food and beverage and housekeeping employees at the Trump International Hotel Las Vegas have entered into a four-year collective bargaining agreement effective Jan. 1 that guarantees annual raises and pension and health-care benefits, Trump Hotels and Unite Here Culinary Workers Union Local 226 said in a joint statement.

Under the agreement, the union will withdraw a series of cases filed with the U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against the hotel, union spokeswoman Bethany Khan said.

Those cases had been expected to be an early test of how Trump, who as president will have influence over the NLRB, would handle concerns over conflicts of interest raised by his business holdings.

Trump takes office on Jan. 20.

Trump Hotels, meanwhile, also agreed to permit workers at the Trump International Hotel Washington D.C., which opened in October, to organize, the company said.

Last week, Democrats in the U.S. Congress called on Trump to divest from the Washington hotel, which is in a building leased from the federal government, saying the lease would pose a conflict of interest because he would essentially be both its landlord and tenant once he is sworn in.

Eric Danziger, the chief executive of Trump Hotels, called Unite Here Local 25, the union organizing workers at the hotel, which is down Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House, an "important partner" in a statement.

"We share mutual goals with the union, as we both desire to ensure outstanding jobs for the employees, while also enabling the hotel to operate successfully in a competitive environment," he said.

As part of the agreement, the Trump Organization will also end its appeal of a November NLRB decision that said it violated workers' rights to organize at the Las Vegas hotel.

The Trump Organization still faces a pending case at the NLRB claiming it required thousands of U.S. employees to sign unlawfully broad confidentiality agreements.

Separately, Politico reported on Wednesday that Trump's transition team is considering the use of discretionary trusts to avoid conflicts of interest for Trump family members or administration officials.

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