Tuesday 11 December 2018

Personal chauffeur of 25 years suing 'callous' Trump for unpaid overtime

US President Donald Trump talks to reporters as he walks with first lady Melania Trump at the White House. Photo: Reuters
US President Donald Trump talks to reporters as he walks with first lady Melania Trump at the White House. Photo: Reuters

Susan Heavey

US President Donald Trump's chauffeur of more than 25 years is suing him for unpaid overtime, describing him in court documents as showing "an utterly callous display of unwarranted privilege and entitlement".

Noel Cintron (59) is suing the Trump Organisation in court in Manhattan for 3,300 hours of overtime that he says he worked in the past six years, totalling around $178,000 (€150,000).

Mr Cintron, who was the businessman's driver until the Secret Service took over in 2016, is not allowed to sue for overtime prior to that, due to the statute of limitations.

He also accuses Mr Trump of only raising his salary twice in 15 years - and clawing the second raise back by stopping paying his health insurance.

Mr Cintron said he was paid $62,700 (€53,000) per year until it was increased in 2006 to $68,000. In 2010 he was given his second raise, to $75,000 - but on condition of surrendering his health benefits, which Mr Cintron alleges saved the Trump Organisation nearly $18,000 per year.

Mr Cintron, in the court filings, accused Mr Trump of exploiting him "in an utterly callous display of unwarranted privilege and entitlement and without even a minimal sense of noblesse oblige".

He continued: "President Trump's callousness and cupidity is demonstrated by the fact that while he is purportedly a billionaire, he has not given his personal driver a meaningful raise in over 12 years."

Meanwhile, Mr Trump suggested yesterday that Beijing might be seeking to derail efforts aimed at denuclearising North Korea, but added that he was confident that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un would uphold a pact the two agreed on last month.

Washington and Pyongyang have presented differing views in recent days on progress on denuclearisation following a Trump-Kim summit in June.

Yesterday, Mr Trump suggested that China, North Korea's chief ally, might be interfering in reaction to the Trump administration's stance on US-China trade. "I have confidence that Kim Jong-un will honour the contract we signed &, even more importantly, our handshake. We agreed to the denuclearisation of North Korea," Mr Trump wrote on Twitter. "China, on the other hand, may be exerting negative pressure on a deal because of our posture on Chinese Trade-Hope Not!"

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo concluded two days of talks with North Korean officials in Pyongyang on Saturday and said denuclearisation talks with North Korea would be difficult.

North Korea, however, issued a harsh characterisation of the negotiations, raising questions about the future talks as US officials seek an end to Pyongyang's nuclear weapons programme. (© Daily Telegraph, London)


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