Local 54 of the Unite-HERE union has continued its strike against the Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City and as of now it is hard to see how the two parties will reach a mutual beneficial solution before this weekend. The strike which is now into its second week is due to a protest launched by the Union over the fact that they are unhappy with the health benefits and amenities being provided by the Trump Taj Mahal.
The union continued to launch protests outside the offices of new owner Carl Icahn and Donald Trump who launched the casino back in 1990. Trump had stated in 2015 that he thought Icahn would make a good Treasury Secretary for the country and in August 2016 Icahn expressed interest in the same but would later go on to change his mind.
Trump who is the presumptive Republican Presidential nominee had severed all managerial ties with the casino nearly seven years ago but Union continues to protest to draw publicity and highlight the fact that both Trump and Icahn have earned millions from the Trump Taj Mahal which money could have been used to upgrade the property and provide casino employees with better wages and benefits.
The Trump Taj Mahal filed for bankruptcy in September 2014 but billionaire Carl Icahn bailed the casino out and has so far invested $86 million into the property. The Taj management has often labelled the casino as a ‘money pit’ and stated that it continues to lose money, making it difficult for them to provide employees with all the benefits that they have requested. Tony Rodio, president of Tropicana Entertainment runs operations at the Taj Mahal on behalf of Icahn.
Rodio has sent Local 54 of the Unite-HERE union a letter informing that they have time till July 18 to accept the health care offer from the Trump Taj Mahal, failing which the offer will no longer be valid. He also highlighted the fact that the casino was asking the Union to be patient for the next 18 months after which the proposed benefits would be looked into.
In a statement, Rodio 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.”
Bob McDevitt, the Union president is not happy with the offer and states that Taj Mahal casino employees are unable to comprehend why the Tropicana which is owned by Icahn can provide its employees with full health benefits and the Taj can only provide lesser coverage. As of now, the Union has not agreed to the proposal or responded to the July 18 deadline.