Employees of the former Trump Taj Mahal casino resort, who picketed the property for more than three months in 2016, finally received their settlement checks stemming from the labor dispute with the previous owner of what now operates as Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City.
Local news outlet The Press of Atlantic City reported that 944 employees of Trump Taj Mahal received the total amount of $1 million or $850.76 each on Thursday, the same day the property reopened under the Hard Rock brand, and on Friday. The aforementioned amount represented a settlement between the UNITE HERE Local 54 labor union and Trump Entertainment, Trump Taj Mahal’s previous owners.
Unionized workers at the hotel and casino resort walked out in the summer of 2016, asking for better contract terms and to have their previous health insurance and pension plans restored. Back in 2011, a number of workers agreed to have their contracts changed as the property was struggling to avoid bankruptcy.
The strike lasted for more than three months. It resulted in the former owner of the property, New York businessman Carl Icahn, closing it in October 2016. Mr. Icahn blamed the closure on the prolonged rallies, arguing that they had impaired Trump Taj Mahal’s profitability beyond repair.
First Union Victory
Workers at the former Trump Taj Mahal told local media earlier this week that the money they received would not mean as much as the fact that they had notched a victory against Mr. Icahn and his lack of actual attempts to iron out the differences they had with striking employees back in 2016. Some employees said that they might have been the first union to stand up to the businessman and win.
Following the October 2016 closure of the property, it filed a motion to have the terms of its workers’ contracts rejected. A court upheld the motion. The move resulted in both unionized workers and two individual employees filing unfair labor practice lawsuits against the casino. The charges were found to have had merit.
The issue was supposed to go to trial last year but Local 54 and the casino reached a settlement, under which employees would receive compensation.
Local 54 President Bob McDevitt said that it was satisfying that employees were able to collect their checks on the same day that Hard Rock opened doors. Hard Rock International, parent company of the Atlantic City casino resort, had struck a labor agreement with Local 54 prior to the property’s opening.
As many as 800 former Trump Taj Mahal workers are now employed by Hard Rock, of them 385 are members of Local 54.
The renovated Trump Taj Mahal opened doors this past Thursday as Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City. The property cost its new owners $500 million to be remodeled from an Asia-themed resort into a typical rock’n’roll-themed one with all the characteristics of the Hard Rock brand and even more.