Investor Carl Icahn Rejects Bid To Keep Trump Taj Mahal Casino Open
By Bob Garcia
While casino workers picket in front of the Trump Taj Mahal, billionaire investor Carl Ichan is rejecting the latest bid to keep the struggling casino open. The bid came on Monday from Unite-HERE, Atlantic City’s main casino workers’ union, and asks for $1.3 million on top of Icahn’s most recent offer.
Icahn took over the failing Trump Taj Mahal in March. The relationship between the casino’s ownership and staff had been tumultuous since 2014, when the casino cut employee benefits. Employees began a strike on July 1 to demand that Icahn reinstate the health care coverage and pension benefits they had lost.
Icahn refused, and instead proposed an offer of reduced benefits for a period of 18 months to allow the hotel and casino to recover and rebuild business. This offer was rejected by the union, prompting Icahn’s decision to end the battle and close the casino. The closure would cost nearly 3,000 jobs, a casualty which Icahn blames on the union.
Union members feel the addition of $1.3 million to Icahn’s last offer is just a drop in the bucket for the billionaire, and question if his threats to close the Taj Mahal are only to “punish workers and Atlantic City.”
According to Tony Rodio, who is overseeing the Taj Mahal for Icahn, the decision to close the casino on October 10, 2016 is firm. Rodio, who is also president of Icahn’s Tropicana casino property, claims that the casino could have been saved if union president Bob McDevitt had only allowed employees to vote on the last proposal.