Although Trump name is still attached to the Taj Mahal casino, billionaire and presidential hopeful Donald Trump no longer has any affiliation to the casino because Carl Icahn took on the ownership of trying to bail the Taj Mahal casino out of bankruptcy.
The billionaire has experienced success in the past turning around failed casinos like the Tropicana casino in Atlantic City. However Icahn is having trouble making progress with the turnaround at the Taj Mahal casino and claims it is due to opposition he is facing from Local 54 of the Unite-HERE casino workers’ union.
Local 54 under the leadership of president Bob McDevitt has been fighting to maintain their healthcare and benefits package. Icahn had earlier looked to cut down on the healthcare and benefits package of the Taj Mahal employees stating that the casino needed to cut its costs significantly if it was going to bail itself out of debt and continue to provide employment to the thousands of workers in Atlantic City.
His decision to remove these benefits from Taj Mahal employees have been opposed by Local 54 union who feel that he is treating casino employees disrespectfully and being completely unfair. McDevitt organized a march this week as hundreds of union members decided to picket the Taj Mahal casino and protest against their unfair treatment.
This opposition from the Local 54 union along with the fact that New Jersey legislators are contemplating licensing two new casinos outside of Atlantic City have not gone down well with Icahn who had earlier committed to investing $100 million to turn around the fortunes of the Taj Mahal casino.
Icahn has accused McDevitt of playing a role in the closure of Atlantic City’s four casinos and said that the Union president was trying a similar strategy with the Taj Mahal because his main objective was to ensure that any casinos that operated in Atlantic City must listen to what he had to say. Icahn is also against the licensing of the two new casinos in North Jersey as he believes such a move would severely hurt Atlantic City’s casinos and could even end up causing an industry collapse.
In a statement, Icahn said “Simply put, north Jersey gaming will probably be a death sentence for the Taj and the Atlantic City economy. This is the issue that will make or break Atlantic City. This is the issue we should all be rallying against.”
Icahn wrote a letter to Taj Mahal casino workers and reminded them of this fact and asked them to join forces and start protesting against the two proposed casinos as that would hurt them a lot more than losing their healthcare and employee benefits.