The Trump Taj Mahal Hotel and Casino announced it will close after Labor Day, citing a strike by 1,000 union employees as a factor. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
ATLANTIC CITY , N.J., Aug. 4 (UPI) -- Atlantic City's Trump Taj Mahal Casino resort will shut down after Labor Day due to a prolonged strike by workers, the casino and hotel announced.
Despite bearing the name of Donald Trump, the business is owned by Carl Icahn of Icahn Enterprises. It was built in 1990 and Trump has not been involved with it since 2009.
At the end of 2015, the Trump Taj Mahal employed more than 2,100 people. Employees will receive layoff notices before the upcoming weekend, in accordance with state law. About 1,000 of those workers, mostly cooks, housekeepers, bartenders and other service workers, belong to Local 54 of Unite-HERE, a national labor union concentrating on the hotel industry. Union members at the Trump Taj Mahal went on strike July 1 over improved health care and pension benefits, lost when a previous owner took over the business while it was in bankruptcy.
Referring to Icahn, Local 54 President Bob McDivitt said in a statement: "For a few million bucks, he could have had labor peace and a content workforce, but instead he'd rather slam the door shut on these long-term workers just to punish them and attempt to break their strike. There was no element of trying to reach an agreement here on Icahn's part; it was always 'my way or the highway' from the beginning with Icahn."
It is Atlantic City's fourth closure of its 11 casino/hotels in the past two years. The Showboat Casino Hotel, the Revel and the Atlantic City Casino Hotel have closed, although unions recently reached agreements with Caesars Entertainment, which owns Caesars Atlantic City, Harrah's Resort and Bally's Atlantic City.
The Trump Taj Mahal is the largest of Atlantic City's casinos, and advertised itself as the world's largest when it opened. Icahn promised to invest $100 million in it when he became owner by buying it in a bankruptcy proceeding. An Icahn Enterprises statement Wednesday said it has "lost almost $100 million trying to save the Taj. ... currently the Taj is losing multi-millions a month, and now with this strike, we see no path to its profitability."