The battle between New Jersey’s billionaire casino owners and their union workers has been going on for most of this year. With casinos in Atlantic City struggling to make any money, casino owners tried everything in their power to cut costs. One of these measures was to heavily reduce the benefits paid to their workers.
By cutting health and life insurance benefits for their union employees, casinos saved millions of dollars. Unfortunately, this measure was not enough to stop multiple casinos shutting down this year. Others are on the brink of bankruptcy. In addition, the move created widespread animosity among the workers that prop up these casinos on a daily basis.
Three public protests took place this year from workers who belong to unions in Atlantic City. They are very unhappy about the way they were treated by casino owners. They also believe that the city and state governments did very little to help them. Governor Chris Christie tried his best to help the casinos, but very little of his policy put the concerns of workers as a priority.
One casino, the Trump Taj Mahal, is still fighting to remain open. However, they can only remain financially solvent if union employees will agree to drop a lawsuit filed against the company. The lawsuit alleges that the union contracts of Trump Taj Mahal workers were unfairly cancelled. Workers lost their health insurance, pensions and other benefits.
Despite such open and ruthless actions against their workers, the Trump Taj Mahal is adamant they did the right thing. “The place could not have stayed open had we honored those pensions and health insurance contracts. There would have been no Trump Taj for anyone to work at,” said a source from within the company.
This fight between the unions, union workers and casinos is going to spill over into 2015.