Trump Taj Mahal casino to shut down after Labor Day

Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

The owners of the Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City say they will shut it down after Labor Day weekend due to an ongoing strike by union members.

The announcement came Wednesday, a day before the walkout will become the longest in the 38-year history of Atlantic City’s casino era.

The strike by Local 54 of the Unite-HERE union began July 1. On Thursday, it will have lasted 35 days, surpassing the 34-day strike the union staged against seven casinos in 2004.

The union says no negotiations are scheduled.

Donald Trump opened the casino in 1990, but it now belongs to the Republican presidential nominee’s friend Carl Icahn.

The union wants health insurance and pension benefits restored. A bankruptcy court judge had allowed the casino’s former owners to eliminate those benefits in 2014.

The president of a union whose strike against the Trump Taj Mahal led owner Carl Icahn to decide to shut the gambling hall down is denouncing the billionaire investor.

Bob McDevitt, president of Local 54 of the Unite-HERE union, says Icahn “would rather burn the Trump Taj Mahal down just so he can control the ashes.”

Icahn’s company announced Wednesday it will shut the Taj Mahal down after Labor Day weekend, but an exact shutdown date has not yet been set.

McDevitt says 60-day warning notices for employees are required, estimating the earliest a shutdown would be permitted would be in early October.

Tony Rodio, president of Tropicana Entertainment, which runs the Taj Mahal, said management decided it can no longer operate a money-losing property in the midst of a strike.

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