Donald Trump has built his platform and reputation as a businessman. One of the points that Trump brings up constantly, is that he is a successful businessman. His opponents have brought up the fact that many of his businesses have gone bankrupt. Namely, his casinos in Atlantic City, NJ. He of course spun these as thoughtful business decisions while at the same time blaming NJ’s economic downturn. During the first Republican debate he said “I have used the laws of this country … the [bankruptcy] chapter laws, to do a great job for my company, for myself, for my employees, for my family,” and goes on to say all great businessmen use bankruptcy to their advantage.
This of course is a lie. Despite many high profile cases of bankruptcy like the bailout of GM, the majority of rich businessmen don’t go bankrupt like Mr. Trump claims. The latest in Trump’s inevitable failures is the Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City. Though Trump lost controlling interest in the casino from his previous bankruptcy, he lent the use of his brand “Trump” for 10% stake in the casino. Trump famously stepped down as chairman of Trump Entertainment Resorts due to negligence. Trump was replaced by Carl Icahn who was appointed by Tony Rodio, president of Tropicana Entertainment, who now runs the casino.
The shutdown was sparked by union workers who went on strike over a month ago. According to the Union, Unite-HERE, Trump Taj Mahal cut health benefits and pension to all workers. The union claims that all they wanted was to get their benefits back. Carl Icahn who was responsible for negotiations on the casino’s side offered to reinstate health benefits. The union claims that the benefits that were offered were only a small portion of what they used to have. They didn’t comment on whether they got their pensions back.
Tony Rodio said in a statement, “Currently the Taj is losing multi-millions a month, and now with this strike, we see no path to profitability… Our directors cannot just allow the Taj to continue burning through tens of millions of dollars when the union has singlehandedly blocked any path to profitability. Unfortunately we’ve reached the point where we will have to close the Taj.” This statement came when the employee strike reached its 35th day which is the longest strike any casino in Atlantic City has ever had. “I would never have thought Carl Icahn was so one-dimensional,” said union president Bob McDevitt. “The great deal-maker would rather burn the Trump Taj Mahal down just so he can control the ashes. For a few million bucks he could have had labor peace and a content workforce, but instead he’d rather slam the door shut on these long-term workers just to punish them and attempt to break their strike.”
The exact date the casino will shut down has not been decided yet. But this shut down means 3,000 people will lose their jobs on top of the 8,000 people that have already lost their jobs due to casinos that Trump owned shutting down.