Atlantic City's Trump Taj Mahal casino closed its doors Monday, 26 years after the Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump opened its gates to the public, in an escalation of the casino crisis currently plaguing the city.
Billionaire Carl Icahn, who owns the property, shut it down at 5:59 a.m. EDT Monday, following a failure to reach an agreement with union workers who were demanding that the health care and pension benefits of the casino’s employees – which they had lost in a bankruptcy court – be restored.
The Associated Press reported Bob McDevitt, president of Local 54 of the Unite-HERE union, as saying: “Everybody has their Popeye moment: ‘That's all I can stands; I can't stands no more.’”
“The workers made a choice that they weren't going to accept benefits and terms of employment worse than everyone else’s,” McDevitt added. “I applaud them: for the first time in 30 years, workers stood up to Carl Icahn and made him throw in the towel.”
Almost 3,000 workers have lost their jobs with the closing of Trump Taj Mahal, which brings the number of victims of the casino crisis to 11,000 since 2014, AP reported.
Trump, who the casino is named after, has had no involvement with the property since 2009. Icahn took over the enterprise in February this year, after keeping the hotel afloat during its bankruptcy.
However, Trump did comment on the breakdown of talks between the two parties in a recent interview with AP: “I felt they should have been able to make a deal. It’s hard to believe they weren't able to make a deal.”
“Today is a sad day for Atlantic City,” Icahn said Monday, after he pulled the plug on the casino, fearing further financial losses. “Like many of the employees at the Taj Mahal, I wish things had turned out differently.”
Atlantic City, renowned for its casinos, has only seven of those left now. The Trump Taj Mahal is the latest to join the list of closures after the shutdown of the Atlantic Club, Showboat, Trump Plaza and Revel following increased economic pressure that has come about amid increased competition in other states of the country.