Trump Taj Mahal allowed to drop Pensions

Trump Taj Mahal allowed to drop Pensions

An appeals court has ruled that the Trump Tah Mahal resort is allowed to drop health insurance and pensions for its workers. This was the last remaining roadblock to billionaire Carl Icahn’s takeover of the Atlantic City casino.

The resort’s current owner, Trump Entertainment Resorts, ended worker benefits in October 2014, citing their inability to afford the costs. Trump Entertainment instead gave their employees stipends that offered them a better chance of purchasing insurance on the open market. Given that Trump Entertainment Resorts is now in bankruptcy court, a judge ruled that they were within their rights to take away benefits.

However, many Trump Taj Mahal employees began complaining that they would no longer be able to afford healthcare if forced to purchase it on the open market. This got Local 54 of the Unite-HERE casino workers union involved, who fought for Taj Mahal employees to get their benefits back.

What’s ensued has been a long legal battle, with Local 54 arguing that a bankruptcy judge shouldn’t decide whether or not workers get benefits. But the appeals court determined that, given Trump Entertainment’s situation, they’re allowed to end benefits for the Taj Mahal employees.

The casino was ready to close in 2014 after years of declining revenue. But unlike four other Atlantic City casinos that were shuttered in 2014, Trump Taj Mahal survived after receiving millions from Icahn.

The billionaire and Atlantic City Tropicana owner provided money to keep the resort operational so that he could take it over eventually. But as reports, Icahn’s generosity only goes so far as he threatened to stop his funding if the appeals court ruled against him. Since the courts have sided with Icahn’s request to halt healthcare and pensions, Icahn will continue his plan of purchasing the casino.

This gives Trump Taj Mahal a much better chance of surviving in a declining Atlantic City market. Once boasting 12 casinos, the city has seen this mark reduced to eight after the Atlantic Club, Revel, Showboat and Trump Plaza closed their doors.

Considering the intense out-of-state competition that’s sprung up around New Jersey, even eight casinos may be too many. So it’s a good thing for the Trump Taj Mahal workers that they can at least fall back on Icahn’s funding, even if they no longer have their benefits.