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Trump Taj Mahal Avoids ClosureDecember 22, 2014 By: Elliott Mest
One Atlantic City casino hotel is getting a good break before the holidays, having been bailed out of its scheduled shutdown.
The Trump Taj Mahal was saved from its scheduled Dec. 20 closing by billionaire investor Carl Icahn after he reached a deal with the union that represents more than one-third of the property's 3,000 workers, NJ.com reported. This prevented the Taj from being the fifth Atlantic City casino to close this year.
CBS reported that Icahn is pledging $20 million to the property to keep it open while court proceedings play out regarding a union lawsuit. In a letter, Icahn promised Trump Entertainment Resorts that he will provide enough money to keep the casino open throughout bankruptcy proceedings. It had been scheduled to close at 6 a.m. Saturday.
"Even though I believe that Atlantic City will be great again someday, many people would still argue that it would be a better financial decision for me to let the Taj close," Icahn wrote in his letter. "But I cannot be so callous as to let 3,000 hardworking people lose their jobs."
Icahn will be taking over Trump Entertainment in return for forgiving around $290 million in debt the company owes him, but only if he is able to secure substantial tax breaks. If these tax breaks are provided, he has promised to invest $100 million into the Taj.
According to Philly.com, the lawsuit tying up the Taj's operations revolves around a deal between Icahn and the Unite Here Local 54 union. The union's president, Bob McDevitt, accused Icahn of backing out of the deal, leading to a three-month standoff that threatened to close the property and put 3,000 employees out of work.
The original deal restored employee health and pension benefits, and backtracked on attempts at outsourcing and new work rules, including increased room-cleaning quotas and elimination of paid meal breaks.