About 1,000 workers walked off the job at the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J., on Friday. Their union said members have not gotten raises in 10 years and have seen their health insurance eliminated. Photo by Sean Pavone/Shutterstock
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J., July 1 (UPI) -- Workers at the Trump Taj Mahal casino in New Jersey walked off the job at 6 a.m. Friday, striking against an employer that union heads said has cut health insurance and hardly raised pay in a decade.
About 1,000 waiters, cooks, bartenders, porters and room attendants walked out of the Atlantic City gambling house at the start of a long holiday weekend after negotiations between Unite Here Local 54 and the owners of the casino broke down Thursday night.
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump opened the Trump Taj Mahal to great fanfare in 1990, but has since sold it to businessman Carl Ichan and no longer has any stake in its operation. He previously filed suit to have his name removed from the casino, but later settled out of court.
The casino floor remained operational, CNN reports, because dealers are not part of the striking union, but other services had ground to a halt.
Chuck Baker, a cook at the Taj for the last 20 years, told The New York Times he makes $20 per hour, but has only gotten a raise of 20 cents over the last 10 years. The casino, which emerged from bankruptcy, also cut its health insurance benefit as a cost savings.
The average wage of the striking workers is $12 per hour, the union said.
Unite Here Local 54 said about one-third of its members do not have health insurance because they cannot afford to buy it, even with government subsidies.
Strikes were averted at four other Atlantic City casinos on Friday as the union came to terms with management, though neither side has said what those terms are.