For Immediate Release: Striking Workers at the Trump Taj Mahal lead Protest against Trump and Icahn-omics (WITH VIDEO)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, July 21, 2016
CONTACT: Diana Hussein,, 313-460-3119

tajrally1(Atlantic City, NJ) — Hours before Donald Trump was scheduled to give his first speech as the Republican nominee for president, almost 2,000 striking workers and their allies decried Icahn-omics—the economic policies of Trump Taj Mahal owner and Donald Trump’s top choice for Treasury Secretary, billionaire and “activist investor” Carl Icahn.

Since July 1, about 1,000 cooks, bartenders, housekeepers, cocktail servers and other service workers have been on strike at the Trump Taj Mahal to reenter the middle-class after Icahn used the bankruptcy court to strip 1,000 workers of pay and benefits worth more than 1/3 of their total compensation. 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.

“We built this business, and we’re tired of billionaires like Trump and Icahn feasting off of our hard work, and leaving us with nothing but the scraps,” said Ruth Ann Yee, a Fast Food Attendant at the Trump Taj. “Three weeks into the strike our resolve is only growing stronger, our fellow casino workers from the rest of Atlantic City are turning out to fight with us, and support from around the country continues to build.”

Both Donald Trump and Carl Icahn have taken millions from the Trump Taj Mahal for themselves while workers have been left holding the bag. 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 their retirement security and even basic benefits like healthcare. Overall, he cut average worker compensation in wages and benefits by 35%.

“We’ve had tremendous support from elected officials, from the rest of the labor movement, and from visitors to Atlantic City who continue to offer their support and bolster morale on the strike line. Today, people from every community across the region are coming to the strike line to tell the company that driving working people into poverty in order to make an easy buck is not acceptable. We won’t stand for Icahn-omics. When workers from every other casino, large or small, have health insurance that is affordable and that works it is time for the Trump Taj Mahal to step up to the plate,” said Bob McDevitt, President of UNITE-HERE Local 54.

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.

Labor, political and community allies from across the region joined the strikers to press the management of the Trump Taj Mahal to settle a fair contract, just as four other casinos in Atlantic City did on June 30.
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