Press Advisory for June 24, 2016 at 12:00pm
Contact: Ben Begleiter, 203-668-6676
DNC Vice Chair and Eight Members of Congress Join Striking Trump Taj Mahal Workers on Picket Line Slam Icahn for Slashing Health Benefits, Holding Back Atlantic City Working Families and the Economy
WHAT: US Congressmembers join striking Taj Mahal workers to urge billionaire casino owner Carl Icahn to stop hurting Atlantic City families and the economy, and to negotiate a fair contract
WHO: Rep. Norcross, Rep. Boyle, Rep. Gallego, Rep. Brady, Rep. Watson-Coleman, Rep. Pallone, Rep. Ellison, Rep. Sanchez, DNC Vice-Chair Maria Elena Durazo and Striking Trump Taj Mahal workers.
WHEN: Sunday July 24, 2016 at 12PM
WHERE: Atlantic City Boardwalk at the Trump Taj Mahal
WHY: One thousand cooks, housekeepers, bellmen, bartenders, cocktail servers, and other service workers from the Trump Taj Mahal have been on strike since July 1.
The strike at the Trump Taj Mahal- a casino owned by billionaire Carl Icahn – follows on the heels of tentative agreements with the Tropicana and Caesars Entertainment, which owns Atlantic City’s Caesars, Harrah’s and Bally’s.
BACKGROUND: 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 debtholder 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 and retirement security. 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.