Friday, March 11, 2016

Donald Trump's Historical Exploitation of Polish Immigrant Workers Revisited

In recent months, billionaire television celebrity and real estate dealmaker, plutocrat and 2016 Republican Party presidential candidate Donald Trump has been scapegoating immigrants and claiming that immigrants are somehow responsible for the loss of union wage jobs for U.S.-born citizen workers during the last 40 years.

Yet, when Donald Trump built his Trump Tower in Manhattan in the late 20th-century, much of the construction and demolition-related work was apparently done by exploited, undocumented, low-wage immigrant workers from Poland. As the 1992 book by former Village Voice reporter Wayne Barrett,Trump: The Deals and The Downfall, recalled:

"...Though Trump Tower was to be Donald [Trump]'s most lavish project, he decided at the very outset to try to cut costs in clearing the site, selecting a demolition contractor with no heavy demolition experience simply because it had agreed to do the job at Trump's suggested $775,000 price.

"The contractor, William Kaszycki, was able to submit so low a bid because most of his workers were illegal Polish aliens working at rates one-half to one-third those of union scale. Kaszycki's wife recruited the workers in Poland...On Trump's job 200 of them worked 12 to 18-hour shifts with no days off or overtime and slept in groups of eight in a slum apartment or motel room...

"...Kaszycki and Trump were jointly labor lawyers seeking the welfare fund payments for the Polish workers that were never paid...U.S. District Court Judge Charles Stewart finally found that theTrump Organization and the president of the union...had `a tacit agreement to employ the Polish workers and deprive them' of union benefits, concluding that `the Trump defendants knowingly participated in the fiduciary breach.' Stewart determined that $325,000 in welfare payments had been improperly withheld--and fined the Trump Towercorporate entity over a million dollars...'

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