After months of legal disputes and labor strife, Carl Ichan has finally gotten the approval he needs to buy the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, which is currently in bankruptcy. The Casino Control Commission of New Jersey gave its approval for the acquisition yesterday.
But the battle for the Taj Mahal is far from over. Ichan still needs to settle a dispute with its employees who are members of Local 54 of the Unite-HERE union. They have been challenging the investor’s decision to cancel their collective bargaining agreement and the pension and health benefits which it guarantees. Ichan has said that as long as those benefits remain he cannot make the hotel profitable again.
“Although Local 54 seems fixated at all costs on damaging the Taj, and risking its closure and the loss of almost 3, 000 jobs, I am optimistic that we can eventually achieve at the Taj what we’ve achieved at Tropicana, ” he said.
He released an open letter to the union in which he stated, “It had a shortfall of over $3.7 billion according to the Form 5500 filed with the Department of Labor, and as a result the federal government has classified it as being in critical status. Nevertheless, your union continues to try to force employers to make contributions into the NRF pension fund, even though they know that 86, 000 current workers will not accrue any additional benefits from those contributions. In other words, your Union is needlessly putting your pension at risk! It’s akin to a ponzi scheme – one that UNITEHERE has fully supported for years.”
Read JBN’s full coverage of the ongoing Taj Mahal saga here.