It’s 4th of July weekend, and workers at Trump Taj Mahal casino are on strike. They are backed by the Atlantic City main casino workers union, and the strike began on Friday. The union that represents Trump Taj Mahal casino is Local 54 of Unite-HERE Union, and it is the body that called the strike against Trump Taj Mahal. In all, the union in question is made up of about 10,000 workers, and about one-tenth of those workers are employed at Trump Taj Mahal casino.
The local union members work for Trump Taj Mahal casino in a variety of capacities. They are the drink servers, the cooks, the baggage handlers, and the people that keep the room clean. Let’s take a look at the Trump Taj Mahal casino strike, as reported by NBC News 7 Philadelphia, what led to it, and what holiday weekend visitors can expect its impact to be.
BREAKING: Trump Taj Mahal casino workers in Atlantic City ON STRIKE after failing to reach agreement w/management. pic.twitter.com/L3xrbjqgLe— UNITE HERE (@unitehere) July 1, 2016
First things first, the striking Trump Taj Mahal casino workers are the scaffolding of the casino industry in Atlantic City, New Jersey. However, they don’t include the dealers at Trump Taj Mahal; dealers will be expected to show for their shifts during the strike.
The biggest beef of the union and the hotel’s new owner has to do with the worker’s health insurance and benefits, which took place in 2014, before new owner Carl Icahn took ownership of the Trump Taj Mahal in March of 2016. Carl Icahn is a billionaire investor, and he bought out the Trump Taj Mahal in March, taking ownership of the casino from bankruptcy court.
In Las Vegas, Trump International Hotel employees make $3 less on average than other workers along the strip. https://t.co/09fJHbRqDy— Gabe Ortíz (@TUSK81) July 1, 2016
Apparently, local union 54 workers expected Icahn to restore their health insurance and pension benefits after taking over the casino. He has flat out said that he would not be restoring those benefits, and that he would shut the Trump Taj Mahal casino down before he was forced to do so, because such benefits are “unaffordable in present day Atlantic City.”
While the Trump Taj Mahal casino still flaunts the Trump name, and even though it was opened by The Donald himself back in 1990 (he famously and with great modesty claimed it to be “the eighth wonder of the world”), Donald Trump is no longer affiliated with the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City.
Donald Trump severed his relationship with the Trump Taj Mahal’s ex-parent company back in 2009. That was when he “lost control” of the company, Trump Entertainment Resorts, during one of his bankruptcy filings. After the 2009 bankruptcy issues, The Donald has had little to do with Trump Entertainment Resorts (aside from a 10 percent stake in the company in exchange for its use of his famous name, of course). In March, 2016, Donald Trump even lost “most” of that stake when Icahn bought the property.
If you are planning on visiting the Trump Taj Mahal Casino over the holiday weekend, keep in mind that the union pulled its workers out at 6:00 a.m. This includes people who work in bars, restaurants, and kitchens, and those who clean and maintain the hotel rooms at the casino. A picket line has also been set up around the Trump Taj Mahal casino, but the picketers have some rules to follow.
Picketers at the Trump Taj Mahal casino are allowed to call people who cross the line “scabs,” but are prohibited from using any other inflammatory language. Trump Taj Mahal casino picketers are also not allowed to block access to the business, threaten people, or cause damage to casino property.
If you visit the Trump Taj Mahal, you can be certain that the casino will have assigned other employees to pick up the slack left behind by those on strike. The media is uncertain whether the replacement employees will be temp workers or current employees of the Trump Taj Mahal casino unaffiliated with the union, such as managers.
If you’re headed to the Trump Taj Mahal to check out the Whitesnake concert on Friday, it’s still expected to happen.
Aside from the Trump Taj Mahal casino, other Atlantic City casinos are expected to conduct business as usual over the weekend.
[Photo by William Thomas Cain/Stringer/Getty Images]