Trump Taj Mahal Offers to Reinstate Workers Benefits
In a last-ditch bid to save the Trump Taj Mahal from closing, the casinos owners, Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc., have offered to reinstate all employee benefits for a period of two years if the union drops its court appeal.
In a letter sent to the union on Sunday, Trump Entertainment CEO Robert F. Griffin asked the president of the Unite HERE Local 54 Union, Robert McDevitt, to drop the appeal of the court ruling, which allowed the casino to terminate its labor contract. In return, Trump Entertainment would restore employee health care and contribute 81 cents per hour worked by an employee to a pension.
“We have made significant progress in our discussion with representatives of the state and local governments on a package of property tax relief and other incentives, which gives us confidence that we will be able to keep the Taj Mahal open if you accept the following proposal” wrote Griffin in his letter to the union.
As it stands, there has been no word from the union who, after attempts to contact them, have yet to reply or offer a response to questions asked by press.
Last week, during bankruptcy court hearings in Delaware, Judge Kevin Gross ordered Trump Entertainment to justify their continued control of the casino or they would risk having a trustee appointed who would oversee the liquidation of the company’s assets. A December 4th hearing has been scheduled by the Judge Gross.
Trump Entertainment is currently facing continued losses and doesn’t have the finances to support the company’s reorganization efforts so Judge Gross has said: “there is no reasonable likelihood of rehabilitation,” during a November 19th order.
Taj Mahal to Close on December 12th
Barring some miracle, the Trump Taj Mahal will close on the 12th of December, making it the fifth Atlantic City to close this year and the second one belonging to Trump Entertainment Resorts after the closure of Trump Plaza.
A massive letter-writing campaign is being waged between Trump Entertainment management and the union. The focus of the exchange has been Carl Icahn who owns the casinos $286 million debt and who, both parties agree, could save the Taj Mahal without cancelling employee benefits. Something Icahn insisted on, amongst other things, should he even consider exchanging the casinos debt for ownership.
According to court filings, a restructuring proposal has been set forward by Icahn, in which it states that Icahn would take over the company and inject a $100 million investment into the company. But the deal was dependent on the cancellation of union labor contracts as well as heavy tax breaks from the state of New Jersey, which were denied.
The Unite HERE Local 54 Union, which represents over 1100 Taj employees, lost the court case preventing the cancellation of employee benefits, with Judge Kevin Gross allowing for the termination of the collective bargaining agreement. A decision currently being appealed by the union.
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