The Trump Taj Mahal casino has remained open in the midst of a two week strike by the Local 54 of the Unite-HERE union who are pushing for additional health care benefits and amenities to be restored to Trump Taj Mahal casino employees. The unions have lodged protests outside former owner Donald Trump and current owner Carl Icahn’s offices.
The union allege that both billionaires have made piles of money from the Trump Taj Mahal and had they invested some of the money back into the property and its workers, a strike would not have been necessary. The Trump Taj Mahal filed for bankruptcy in September 2014 but billionaire Carl Icahn who also owns the Tropicana casino in Atlantic City decided to bailout the Trump Taj Mahal.
Icahn has so far invested $86 million into the Taj Mahal to turn things around but has also cut health care and benefits for casino employees in an effort to reduce overhead costs and save the casino which has been leaking money. Tropicana management have been hired by Icahn to run the Trump Taj Mahal and this has caused ill-will amongst Taj Mahal employees considering the fact that Tropicana employees get a better healthcare and benefits. A letter has been sent to the Local 54 Union informing them that should they not accept the current offer by July 18, 5 pm; the deal will be off the table.
In a statement, Tony Rodio, president of Tropicana Entertainment said “The company offered to fund a health insurance plan that was offered by Unite Here but was not quite as rich as the plan at the other AC casinos. But it did provide medical insurance for all union members and their families. In addition, the Taj Mahal would have extended health insurance to all non-union members, as well. This one concession would have cost the company multiple millions of dollars.”
The Trump Taj Mahal has made a few concessions based on the pressure imposed by the union and one of those included reducing the number of hotels rooms from 16 to 14 that housekeeping needs to get done during their shift. All the other casinos in Atlantic City also require only 14 rooms to be cleaned in a shift.
Local 54 Union president Bob McDevitt stated that the Union is not impressed with the proposal put forth by the Trump Taj Mahal and would continue to strike.