Continued Strike at Taj Mahal

Written By Janice Doughtrey

On the morning of Friday, July 8 at roughly 6am, around 900 Local 54 UNITE HERE accommodation laborers from the Trump Taj Mahal entered their second week of the strike against the casino once possessed by the famed Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

While the other four Atlantic City casinos that were facing threats of strikes during this time, arrangements between the Trump Taj Mahal and Unite Here Local 54 fizzled and staff including maids, servers, cooks, and bellmen at the Boardwalk gambling club were among the individuals who took off and began striking. Also, it shows up as though both sides are getting ready for what could conceivably be a long contract disagreement starting with the two months when the Atlantic City club will usually net more than any other time of the year.

Trump’s companion and kindred tycoon financial specialist Carl Icahn assumed control over the Taj Mahal a year ago, but not before he went to court in order to remove many of the benefits that unionized members previously had. They lost many pension and health benefits, cutting up to 35 percent of employee benefits.

The benefits that have been taken from employees to be come back in one way or another. If this doesn’t happen, this will show that other casinos can get away with it as well and may begin cutting benefits from their own employees. Strikers and picketers are prepared for the long run, as they expect it could be some time before an agreement is reached. The spokeswoman Diana Hussein excitedely spoke about the union’s progress over the weekend with KYW Newsradio. “We had a major boost over the holiday weekend. It was almost like a party out there. It was fun for them. They’re ready to keep going and go as long as it takes to get their fair contract.” Not only was the weekend enjoyable for strikers, but they also got a visit from the New Jersey Senator Cory Booker as well as Representative Frank LoBiondo who decided to stop by the striking area to offer some words of encouragement for the union members.

The cost of living has continually risen in the city of as much as 25 percent over the past decade, and still a lot of the Taj Mahal employees have only seen small raises with some people getting under a dollar in income growth and a majority of employees receiving under $12 an hour.

The strike has come at a bad time for the state, which has a host of issues it is trying to deal with at this time. The biggest issue is the large $100 million budget shortfall and the continued battle that is occurring with the state and Atlantic City that can mean a potential takeover of the casino. There are also many older casinos in other states that are pulling customers away from the casino, not to mention the exclusive casino rights in North Jersey are being taken away from Atlantic City with two new casinos being approved. Atlantic City has been the only North Jersey casino since 1976.