The Trump Taj Mahal Casino & Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey will permanently close in a few weeks — just after Labor Day, and just before the 2016 presidential election — because the ownership group and a hospitality workers union cannot agree to terms which would end an ongoing labor strike.
The ownership group — which Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump officially exited earlier this year — blames the union, Unite Here Local 54, for obstructing a “path to profitability,” The Press of Atlantic City reports.
The casino has hemorrhaged millions of dollars during the 34-day strike, Tropicana Entertainment CEO Tony Rodio told the newspaper. The ownership group, which is now led by billionaire Carl Icahn, has “fiduciary duties to their shareholders,” Rodio said.
United Here Local 54 union president Bob McDevitt criticized the corporate decision to stop losing money.
“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,” the union boss said in a statement obtained by the Press. “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.”
A judge officially terminated Trump’s financial interest in the Trump Taj Mahal in February after the beleaguered gambling haven emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Until that time, Trump had owned a 10 percent total stake in the hotel that still prominently features his name.
Trump Plaza Associates, the owner of the Trump Taj Mahal, declared bankruptcy in a Delaware court in September 2014, a month after Trump attempted to have his name removed from the property. Trump had not been actively involved in the operation of the Trump Taj Mahal since 2009.
Provided the Trump Taj Mahal does, in fact, close, the event would mark the fifth time since 2014 that an Atlantic City casino has shuttered. Already-folded casinos in New Jersey’s Sin City include the Showboat Casino Hotel, Revel, the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel and Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino — which was different from the Trump Taj Mahal.
Some 8,000 people have lost jobs thus far in the rash of closings.
Approximately 1,000 cooks, maids, bellboys, bartenders and waiters are participating in the Trump Taj Mahal strike. It’s been going on since July 1.
Tropicana Entertainment is sending mass layoff notices this week. The notices are required by state law.
At the end of 2015, the Trump Taj Mahal employed over 2,100 people, according to New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement figures obtained by the Press. Roughly half of those employees belong to the striking union.
Back in 1990, when the 120,000-square-foot Trump Taj Mahal opened, it was billed as the largest casino ever and the “eighth wonder of the world.”
The Trump Taj Mahal was home to the eXXXotica Expo in both April 2014 and April 2013. (RELATED: Trump Taj Mahal Was Site Of Hardcore Porn Convention In 2013, 2014)
The 2014 version of the eXXXotica Expo featured a speaking appearance by legendary porn thespian Ron Jeremy and at least one bound, half-naked woman being whipped by an overweight guy with a graying flattop haircut.
The 2013 event featured women in cages, women in chains and a giant, rideable penis.