Trump Taj Mahal recently closed its doors 26 years after Donald Trump opened it and called it the world’s eighth wonder.
It became the fifth Atlantic City casino to shut down since 2014 when fellow billionaire and friend Carl Icahn closed its doors this Monday.
The casino mimicked, with its grand minarets, domes and high towers, its famed Indian namesake. But its majestic doors were closed forever after the authorities failed to reach an agreement about health and pension plans with the union workers. The bankruptcy court took away these benefits were taken away from the workers.
Trump Taj Mahal’s closing meant that at least three thousand workers suddenly became unemployed, bringing the number of jobs lost in the casino closings to around eleven thousand since the year 2014.
But the workers refused to go down quietly, protesting outside the casino’s doors, holding “the line.” Their battle had been raging for over 2 years and finally led to the casino’s closing when Icahn decided that the losses were too great to go on trying to negotiate with the workers. The Union had gone on strike since July 1st and Icahn decided to close the casino’s door a month later for, he seemed to realise, there was no more profit to be made from it.
While the Trump Taj Mahal was the fifth Atlantic City casino to close its doors in the last two years, this shutdown was different from the first four. Because this was the first time a Republican presidential candidate took time out of his election campaign to mourn its closing.
Trump said that he could not quite believe that they could not reach an agreement. He felt that they should have been able to.
Some of the workers had been with the casino since it first opened its doors. Along with the 200 other picketers, they held a moment of silence when the doors were actually closed. Many of them feel that this need not have happened. They feel that to the authorities it’s all business, but, to them, it’s their lives at stake. The workers were overworked and had no health or pension benefits. They just could not take it.
Taj Mahal became the fifth Atlantic City casino to succumb to the growing economic pressure on the City’s casinos by those in the other states. The City now boasts of just seven casinos. The crisis, thus, continues.