Donald Trump quietly paid $1.4 million in 1998 to settle a class-action lawsuit that alleged he stiffed a union pension fund by employing undocumented Polish laborers to demolish a department store to make way for Trump Tower.
The amount became public this week after a judge released previously sealed settlement documents in response to a motion filed by Time Inc. and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in 2016.
“This Order shall remain confidential in accordance with the parties’ agreement at the October 26, 1998 settlement conference,” reads the settlement agreement, which was signed on Dec. 30, 1998, by District Court Judge Thomas P. Griesa of New York’s Southern District.
The case originated in the summer of 1980, when Trump was under pressure to finish the demolition of the Bonwit Teller building on Fifth Avenue in New York City so that he could begin construction on his signature project, the Trump Tower.
As noted in an Aug. 25, 2016, story in TIME, Trump hired a group of undocumented Polish laborers who put in “12-hour shifts with inadequate safety equipment at subpar wages that their contractor paid sporadically, if at all.”
Their hiring led to years-long litigation that Trump finally settled in 1998.
Read the plaintiffs’ memoranda in support of a settlement, the notice of a motion on the case, a transcript of a conference on the settlement and the settlement below.
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