Members of Atlantic City’s Local 54 of UNITE HERE Casino workers union continue to protest against investor carl Icahn’s planned cutbacks for the city’s Taj Mahal casino hotel. Some 68 of them were arrested at a protest against the cuts held in front of the Taj Mahal yesterday. An estimated 1, 000 took part in the demonstration.
The protesters were arrested when they sat down in the street and blocked traffic. And not all of them were locals. Hannah Taleb came all the way from Pittsburgh for the protest.
“I’m here because if the standards are lowered in Atlantic City, how can I expect to fight for high standards in my city?” Taleb told The Press of Atlantic City. “All casino workers are linked in that way.”
Trump Entertainment Resorts, which still controls the hotel, for now, but is no longer affiliated with Donald Trump, issued a statement saying, “Taj employees do not benefit from this type of disruptive conduct. It is unfortunate that Local 54 leadership is willing to sacrifice the wages and tips of its members by actively attempting to persuade customers and conventions to boycott the Taj Mahal.”
Carl Ichan has finally gotten the approval he needs to buy the Trump Taj Mahal just last week, which is currently in bankruptcy. The Casino Control Commission of New Jersey gave its approval for the acquisition.
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.