Taj Mahal Labour Dispute Laid To Rest

Harry Coulter | 03 Jul 2018

Trump and Taj MahalGlitz, glamour and good times ahead may be the prevailing culture now that the Hard Rock Hotel and Atlantic City Casino is operating on the premises previously known as Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort, but the location has been mired in labour disputes and controversy since 2016. Last week, the previous owners of the entertainment venue finally coughed up roughly $1 million in settlement payments to its 944 former employees, following the eventual settlement of the labour disputes with the disgruntled workers.

The settlement cheques were issued on the same day that the Hard Rock Hotel and Atlantic City Casino opened its doors under the rule of new ownership. The settlement was reached between the UNITE HERE Local 54 labour union and Trump Entertainment, being the previous owners of the venue when it was still known as the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort.

Strike Closes Doors

Workers protected by the cover of the union abandoned ship during 2016, after having demanded more favourable contracts and more specifically, the restoration of their previous health and pension funds. Health and pension funds were cancelled on agreement back in 2011, in an attempt to avoid total bankruptcy. Workers had agreed to the amendments during that year in a bid to keep their jobs.

The 2016 strike lasted for more than 3 months, eventually forcing New York businessman and owner, Carl Icahn, to close doors in October of the same year. Icahn reportedly said that the strikes had forced his hand as the situation was beyond repair.

A New Era

Workers at the former Trump Taj Mahal Casino told reporters that it was not so much the money that was the victory here, but rather the fact that they believed that this was the first successful motion against the businessman, who was notorious for being unapproachable.

What’s more, Hard Rock International had come to an agreement with the union, and as a result, roughly 800 former Taj Mahal workers are now employed by the new owners of the venue. 385 of the workers are unionized members covered by the umbrella of Local 54.

The renovated casino complex opened its doors under the rule of new ownership, last Thursday. The look and feel is no longer an Asian one, but the entire culture of the casino has been changed into a rock ‘n’ roll theme, which is typical of the Hard Rock brand.