Trump Taj Mahal Casino Closes Amid Ongoing Worker Strike

Shuttering of 'Eighth Wonder of the World' marks fifth Atlantic City casino closing since 2014.

Published Oct 10, 2016

 (Associated Press)
Image Via Associated Press

Nearly 3,000 workers were left without a job on 10 October 2016 after the closure of the Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

The casino was opened by current Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in 1990, but the decision to shutter it came from current owner Carl Icahn, a friend of Trump's who became majority owner of the business in 2014.

Icahn had announced on 3 August 2016 that he planned to close the Taj Mahal, blaming a casino workers' strike for blocking "any path to profitability." Icahn revisited that sentiment in a statement released the day of the Taj Mahal's closing:

Today is a sad day for Atlantic City. Despite our best efforts, which included losing almost $350 million over just a few short years, we were unable to save the Taj Mahal. I am extremely grateful to all of the almost 3,000 employees for their hard work, especially those that stayed loyal to us during this trying period. After our last offer, which included medical, was rejected, it was simply impossible to find a workable path forward that would not have required funding additional investments and losses in excess of $100 million over the next year. Like many of the employees at the Taj Mahal, I wish things had turned out differently.

The Taj Mahal is the fifth casino in Atlantic City to close since 2014.

Trump called the casino the "Eighth Wonder of the World" when he opened it, but he lost control of it after one of his companies, Trump Entertainment Resorts, was restructured as part of bankruptcy proceedings in 2009. Trump has demanded that his name be taken off of the building, be he said of the closure that:

I'm very sad that they weren't able to reach a deal. It's very sad to me. I felt they should have been able to make a deal.

The strike began on 1 July 2016, after the casino workers' union, Unite-HERE Local 54, was unable to reach an agreement with Icahn that would restore the health and pension benefits workers lost during the bankruptcy proceedings. Unite-HERE mounted an early-morning demonstration in advance of the Taj Mahal's closing:

Union president Bob McDevitt said there was "a strong possibility" that Icahn would attempt to reopen the casino early in 2017 without employing union workers.

Arturo Garcia is a former writer for Snopes.

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