U.S. Supreme Court rejects union challenge over Trump Taj Mahal

After filing for bankruptcy, health insurance and pension benefits for unionised workers were terminated.

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a union challenge which aimed to restore health and pension benefits for more than 1,000 workers at the Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City.

US.- The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a union appeal seeking to restore health and pension benefits for more than 1,000 workers at the Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City. The justices ruled in favour of the former Trump Entertainment Resorts.

Back in 2014, the company filed for bankruptcy protection and a federal bankruptcy judge imposed cost savings sought by the company. This savings included terminating health insurance and pension benefits for unionised workers. The company gave workers cash stipends to purchase health insurance on their own through the Affordable Care Act, however many workers claim it has been insufficient for them to purchase coverage.

Local 54 of the Unite-HERE union, which represents most casino workers, appealed the judge’s order. The union argues labour law prohibits an employer from abandoning a collective bargaining agreement, even in a bankruptcy. A union official said it would issue a statement reacting to the decision soon. Furthermore, Local 54 has authorised a strike against the Taj Mahal, but thus far has not walked off the job.

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn stepped in to buy the casino out of bankruptcy court and is keeping it open. Icahn took control of the casino in March, but he had been keeping it afloat during its bankruptcy. He repeatedly said that if a higher court restored the benefits that were cancelled by the bankruptcy court, he would withdraw financial support from the casino and shut it down as the benefits Taj Mahal workers used to receive are unaffordable in Atlantic City’s current, situation. Icahn is investing US$15 million on immediate upgrades at the casino, in an effort to win back business it lost during its bankruptcy.