In an all too standard move, Trump has been bragging and boasting about handing over a historic hotel to daughter Ivana for redecoration and all that, and has refused to pay all the people who worked their arses off to get it up and running.
In the frenzied final six weeks of work at the hotel, while Trump touted the project on the campaign trail, AES of Laurel, Md., claims it assigned 45 members of its staff to work 12-hour shifts for nearly 50 consecutive days to get the lights, electrical and fire systems prepared on time.
“We had people there well over 12 hours a day for weeks because they had a hard opening of Sept. 12 and you can’t open if the lights don’t work and the fire alarms don’t work and the fire marshal can’t inspect it,” said Tim Miller, executive vice president of AES. “There is a lot of work that went into that hotel, and it didn’t happen by accident.”
Trump got his wish: The hotel was ready enough that on Sept. 16 he held a campaign event there honoring veterans, which was carried live on national television. He touted the hotel as having been completed “under budget and ahead of schedule” and said that when it opened officially the following month it would be “one of the great hotels anywhere in the world.”
But around the same time, Miller said, the Trump Organization and its construction manager, Lendlease, stopped paying AES. Three days before Christmas, AES filed a mechanic’s lien with the D.C. government alleging that it was out almost $2.1 million. “Merry Christmas and a happy new year to us,” Miller said.
The AES filing brings the total of allegedly unpaid bills on the hotel to more than $5 million. Washington-area plumbing firm Joseph J. Magnolia Inc. and Northern Virginia construction company, A&D Construction, are seeking $2.98 million and $79,700 respectively.
This is the Trump organization response:
“In developments of this scale and complexity the filing of nominal liens at the conclusion of construction is not uncommon as part of the close out process,” a representative for the company wrote.
Now, I’m not a businessman, but I’m going to call a big ol’ bullshit on this one. Why force companies to file at all, a costly and I’m sure, unwanted procedure? Why not just pay them? Oh of course, this is Trump, a man renowned for reneging, stiffing, and not paying anyone, at least not until it’s time to settle yet another court case. There’s the “smart” businessman Trumpoids have put their trust in.
“We’re not in this for any sort of political reasons,” Miller said. “We have no ax to grind, political or otherwise. We’re a business. We have 700 employees that we pay every week. We have bills. We are effectively financing this work, and we don’t think it’s right. That’s really it.”
Oh, but Donny is so gosh darned concerned for workers, right?
The Washington Post has the full story.