According to documents that were just unsealed by a U.S. district court, Trump settled in the 1980’s with workers who sued him for unfair labor practices. Those labor practices included paying workers as little as $4 an hour, in terrible conditions, and without proper safety equipment. Many of the workers were undocumented.
William Kaszycki & Sons, the contractor who represented the workers, sued Trump in 1983. Trump settled the case for $1.375 million.
“We worked in horrid, terrible conditions,” said Wojciech Kozak, who worked at one of the sites. “We were frightened illegal immigrants and did not know enough about our rights.”
The workers were predominantly from Poland.
The settlement remained under seal for nearly two decades until Time Inc. and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press filed a motion to unseal the documents. U.S. District Court Judge Loretta A Preska granted the motion.
According to testimonies, workers were burdened with 12-16 hour shifts without hard hats, masks, or gloves. The men were required to cut pipes, break concrete, rip out wiring, and work in asbestos filled areas.
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Trump claimed, under oath, that he didn’t know the workers were illegal. However, an attorney for the workers claimed that Trump threatened to have the workers deported due to their illegal immigration status, which would indicate Trump did know they were undocumented.
Following years of litigation, a two-week trial, and appeals, Trump finally decided to settle the case. This contrasts with his campaign rhetoric where Trump would boast that he’s been sued many times but “never settled.”
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