Better late than never. Whether it was Trump’s scam Trump University or his attempt to take an old widow’s house in Atlantic City for the purposes of building a parking garage for limousines, the layers are starting to be peeled away and the reveal is Donald Trump, the man who doesn’t give a crap about the little guy.
What we’re seeing emerge is a pattern over a long period of time of Trump, taking advantage of the little guy and not caring about it. One of those stories is Trump’s use of illegal Polish immigrants during the construction of Trump Tower in the early 1980’s. The video below is about 5 minutes long but it is worth watching. There are more details from different stories below that:
A class action lawsuit was filed in 1983 and as this story from the NY Times in 1998 shows, it still had not been worked out:
Eighteen years ago, Wojciech Kozak helped build Trump Tower, the skyscraper jewel in Donald J. Trump’s real-estate empire. Today, Mr. Kozak recalls that time with nightmare memories of backbreaking 12-hour shifts and of being cheated with 200 other undocumented Polish immigrants out of meager wages and fringe benefits.
”We worked in horrid, terrible conditions,” Mr. Kozak said of the six months he spent in 1980 wielding a sledgehammer and a blowtorch in demolishing the Bonwit Teller Building on Fifth Avenue to make way for Trump Tower. ”We were frightened illegal immigrants and did not know enough about our rights.”
Mr. Kozak, like other laborers on that job, has no hope of collecting about $4,000 in back wages from a contracting company that began the demolition and later became insolvent. But after almost two decades, the demolition workers are still struggling to compel Mr. Trump and his business associates to compensate a union’s welfare funds and thus increase pension and medical benefits for some of the Polish workers.
During the 16-day non-jury trial, a number of the Polish workers testified that Trump underlings had threatened them with deportation if they caused trouble. They walked in to the job from Brooklyn when a transit strike hit the city. Some of them slept at the site.
Two workers further testified that they had approached Trump in person to demand overdue wages.
And then what the judge determined:
The judge found against Trump, his partner, and the contractor, saying they had joined in a “conspiracy.” Stewart found that Trump’s man on the scene, Thomas Macari, “was involved in every aspect of the demolition job.”
“He knew the Polish workers were working ‘off the books,’ that they were doing demolition work, that they were non-union, that they were paid substandard wages with no overtime pay, and that they were paid irregularly if at all,” the judge found.
Stewart suggested that it would have been difficult for anyone not to notice the Polish Brigade.
“The Polish workers were obvious not only in numbers but also in appearance,” the judge found. “In contrast to the union workers, the nonunion Polish workers were distinguished by the fact that most of them did not wear hard hats.”
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