The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a union challenge Tuesday against a Trump casino in Atlantic City over its decision to cut health and pension benefits.
The Taj Mahal casino was owned by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump before going into bankruptcy two years ago, when it was bought out by billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who invested millions into the casino. Unite-Here Local 54 filed a lawsuit against the casino when it began slashing benefits, but the courts have affirmed the cuts are legal.
“Even the union will not deny that without our capital when it was sorely needed, the Taj Mahal would not exist today,” Icahn told The Associated Press. “It is amazing to me that the union is still fighting us. It’s as if they’re hoping to see us close.”
The Supreme Court choice not to hear the case means the decision defaults to the lower-courts which ruled in favor of the casino. Local 54 has vowed to continue picketing the hotel despite its court loss. The union has authorized a strike but thus far workers have not engaged in one.
The casino and union have technically been without a collective bargaining agreement since 2014. Nevertheless federal law dictates certain provisions, like benefits, must remain in place until a new contract is reached. A bankruptcy judge claimed in 2014 that without making changes to the agreement the casino would be forced to close, reports the Dow Jones Newswires.
Local 54 has argued that a bankruptcy does not allow an employer to cut benefits agreed to under a collective bargaining agreement, reports The Associated Press. The casino has given workers stipends so they could purchase their own healthcare plans but the union rejected the plan for being inadequate.
Local 54 did not respond to a request for further comment.
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