Trump Taj Mahal Owner Carl Icahn Rejects Union Offer, Confirms Closure
While rumours float around that the there still might be hope for the troubled Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, the management have made it clear that the month of October will be the end of the road for the casino. Local 54 of the Unite-HERE union had put forth one last proposal to see if it could negotiate and reach a decision with owner Carl Icahn and remained hopeful of a solution.
However Carl Icahn has rejected the latest offer made by the casino’s union workers earlier this week saying that he would be going ahead with his plan to shut down the casino on October 10. Icahn said via a local casino official that the blame for the closure lies with the union workers,which is likely to result in loss of over 3,000 jobs.
The compromise offer made by Local 54 of the Unite-HERE union would have resulted in an additional cost of just $1.3 million over Icahn’s last offer. Under the final proposal made by the Union, health benefits for the workers which had been withdrawn in 2014 would have to be restored. Additionally, the contract terms would have to be similar to those adopted by Tropicana Casino Resort, which is another Icahn-owned casino in Atlantic City and would have to be effective from September 2017.
The primary disagreement between the union and the casino management has been over the health benefits for workers, which had been revoked while the casino was in bankruptcy.
Casino workers are demanding that their benefits be similar to those offered by other casinos in the city. Union president Bob McDevitt had said while making the offer it remains to be seen if Icahn was interested in saving the casino or in punishing the workers and the city Tony Rodio, the president of the Tropicana casino who is also in charge of operations at the Taj Mahal said that the meeting between the management and the union was organized to discuss the closure of the casino and not to start a fresh negotiation. He reconfirmed that the Taj Mahal will close on the designated date of October 10.
In a statement, Tony Rodio said
Bob McDevitt and the Taj bargaining committee have no one to blame but themselves for this sad outcome. If McDevitt cared even one iota about the future of the employees he would have allowed them to vote on the proposal we offered five weeks ago, which we believe could have saved the Taj. But in the end he blindsided us and the employees because closing the Taj served his personal purposes
However despite Icahn’s announcement of the casino’s closure on August 3, he is yet to file a petition for it with the New Jersey gaming regulators.
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