Trump Taj Mahal casino will shut down amid strike, costing 3,000 workers their jobs

He did not think the plan was sufficient for his colleagues, so he voted to reject it. Donald Trump once owned three Atlantic City casinos, but cut most ties with the city by Another well-known billionaire is currently behind the Trump Taj Mahal: The Trump Taj Mahal declined to say Sunday if the strike had cut into its business. Baker argued that the employees had sacrificed much in recent years as the Taj foundered due to the economy and growing competition.

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Pete Battaglini, a career bellman who's worked at the Taj since its doors opened, said he no longer feels a part of the middle class.

You could earn a decent living and support a family," said Battaglini, 60, who has two daughters in college. Though it bears his name, the Trump Taj Mahal no longer has any ties to the presumptive Republican nominee for president. Opened in by Donald Trump, who hailed it as "the 8th wonder of the world," the property is now owned by billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who bought debt in the casino at a discount and later swapped it for equity.

Trump still owned a 10 percent stake in the Taj until recently, though he's not had a hand in running it for years. Icahn is a foe-turned-friend of Trump's and a public backer of the real estate magnate's campaign for the White House. Trump has deemed Icahn one of "the great businessmen of the world," while Icahn has called Trump " what this country needs at this time.

A court approved Icahn's plan to shed worker benefits that he said the casino couldn't afford at a time when Atlantic City is struggling. Four of the city's casinos closed in , thanks in part to competition from new casinos in the region that gave gamblers more options closer to home. But Atlantic City's gambling industry has shown signs of a rebound since then. The union has recently tried to negotiate new contracts with five casinos in town. It succeeded in securing them at four, including the Tropicana, another property of Icahn's.

The only remaining holdout is the Taj. The biggest sticking point has been the loss of company-sponsored health care coverage. The union says it conducted a survey of its Taj members in March, finding that one-third of them had no coverage at all. Nearly half of workers were covered through government-funded plans, either under Medicare, Medicaid or the Affordable Care Act, the union said. The significant increase in health care costs means many workers' salaries don't go as far as they used to.

Chuck Baker, a member of the bargaining committee, said the health care plan the company proposed would not have covered his spouse. He did not think the plan was sufficient for his colleagues, so he voted to reject it.

Baker argued that the employees had sacrificed much in recent years as the Taj foundered due to the economy and growing competition. A decade after the Great Recession, the U. The top-paying jobs tend to cluster in two industries -- and may prove less vulnerable automation. Share Tweet Reddit Flipboard Email. Last Updated Jul 1, 6: This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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