Trump Taj Mahal Casino Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, Breaks Union Contract
June 13, 2016
On the first of June, the Supreme Court of the United States chose to deny an appeal to a union representing over a thousand workers at the Trump Taj Mahal casino, located in Atlantic City, New Jersey. As such, the Supreme Court has allowed an existing verdict, made in January, permitting the Trump Taj Mahal to exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Said ruling also cut off contractual obligations the casino had agreed to, regarding its relationship with the Unite Here Local 54 union. Trump Taj Mahal must no longer pay into the health insurance and pension pools in its original agreement with Unite.
Donald J. Trump, the likely Republican nominee for president, is not the owner of Trump Taj Mahal and its hotel any longer. It is now owned by wealthy entrepreneur Carl Icahn, of Icahn Enterprises LP. However, the case proceeds from one started in September of 2014. Donald Trump invoked Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and soon thereafter requested the bankruptcy judge “reject the collective bargaining agreement and implement different terms proposed by Trump.” This request was granted. Meanwhile, Trump’s legal team and the Unite Here Local 54 union experienced a breakdown in their talks to repair their contract.
Unite Here Local 54 gave this statement on Trump’s handling of the casino’s contract changes: “Trump immediately implemented the changes in terms and conditions of employment that the Union had rejected. It ceased making contributions to the pension, health and welfare, and severance funds that provided benefits to Trump’s employees. It expanded its own authority to consolidate positions, assign work and subcontract, which resulted in layoffs and loss of pay.”
Richard G. McCracken, one of Unite Here Local 54’s chief litigators, saw the court’s conflict as a fight between the preservation of business operations and the integrity of collective bargaining compacts. “This is about how a bankruptcy was used to transfer value from working people to the super rich,” McCracken told the media outlet Hamodia.
It is unclear whether the new owner Icahn Enterprises LP will attempt to honor Trump Taj Mahal’s casino’s previous arrangements with Unite Here Local 54.