Casino workers to Icahn: “Our proposal simply $1.3 million different than yours. We can end this dispute today.”
(Atlantic City, NJ)—At negotiations today, workers at the Trump Taj Mahal made a contract proposal that would resolve the ongoing labor dispute at the Trump Taj Mahal. The union proposal costs only $1.3 million more over the next year than the company’s last proposal that was rejected by the workers on June 30.
“We came up with a proposal that will restore what we have lost while at the same time giving the company time to rebuild its business. This is a win-win proposal in my book,” said Peter Battaglini, a 26-year bellman.
The proposal which would cost $1.3 million more than the last proposal Icahn made to the workers includes:
- The company will begin paying for the same healthcare workers in the rest of the city receive on January 1, 2017;
- The company will immediately restore paid breaks;
- Housekeeper work load will immediately return to the industry standard;
- Subcontracting protections for workers will be immediately restored;
And, Trump Taj Mahal would agree to implement the Tropicana contract beginning on September 1, 2017.
“This labor dispute has been going on for almost two years. The company has saved about $25 million in labor expenses, but lost between $150 and $200 million in revenues. The proposal we put forward today allows all of us to move forward. Now it’s time to see if this company is interested in moving forward or just wants to punish workers and Atlantic City,” said Bob McDevitt, President of UNITE HERE Local 54.
A recent analysis of revenues at the Trump Taj Mahal shows that the company lost out on at least $150 million in revenues over the course of the labor dispute. The report is available at http://bit.ly/tajreport.
One thousand cooks, housekeepers, bellmen, bartenders, cocktail servers, and other service workers from the Trump Taj Mahal have been on strike since July 1.
Many workers at the Trump Taj Mahal, including those with years on the job, have seen only $.80 in total raises over the last twelve years. The cost of living in Atlantic City has risen over 25 percent in the same time period. Housekeepers, servers and other casino workers at the Taj Mahal earn an average of less than $12/ hour.
As the sole debt-holder between 2010 and 2014, Icahn extracted $350 million from the property, driving it into bankruptcy and then swooping in to take control. He used the bankruptcy proceeding to strip Taj Mahal workers of health benefits, retirement security and even paid breaks. Overall, he cut worker compensation in wages and benefits by 35%.
Without health benefits, half of workers at the Trump Taj Mahal rely on taxpayer subsidized health insurance. A third have no health insurance at all, putting them at risk of bankruptcy in the event of an illness and forcing taxpayers to pay for visits to the Emergency Room. Some of the workers rely on other public assistance programs, like food stamps.