Summary of the Article
Unlike earlier Trump casino bankruptcies, the Chapter 11 case that began in September 2014 has been shaped by continuing labor strife, with …
Atlantic City casino workers are keeping the pressure on Trump Entertainment Resorts as the battered gambling companyforges ahead with a bid to survive its bankruptcy intact.
New allegations of unfairness were called to the attention of federal labor regulators by the union that representsmore than 1,100 workers at Trump Taj Mahal, the last casino standing of the former Atlantic City boardwalk casino empireof Donald Trump.
Unite Here Local 54 announced Tuesday it has filed 27 unfair-labor-practice charges over incidents at the Trump TajMahal casino, involving alleged threats and discrimination against workers for union activity.
A spokeswoman and a lawyer for Trump Entertainment didn’t respond Tuesday to inquiries about the labor unfairnessaccusations, which follow a series of demonstrations accusing Trump Entertainment and Carl Icahn, the billionaire poisedto take over company, of unfairness.
Unlike earlier Trump casino bankruptcies, the Chapter 11 case that began in September 2014 has been shaped bycontinuing labor strife, with complaints of unfairness from both sides.
The union, the company and the secured lender almost reached an accord in December, but the deal fell apart.
Mr. Trump, who hasn’t been involved in management of the gambling company for seven years, said Tuesday he wassurprised at the level of discord at the company.
“People that work there are people that I know. They are really good people,” Mr. Trump said. “I am surprised thatthey can’t get it going. It’s to everyone’s benefit to come together. I am very surprised that they can’t make a deal.”
The Taj Mahal is one of a shrinking number of gambling halls on the Atlantic City boardwalk, which has suffered fromcompetition from neighboring states.
The complaints to the National Labor Relations Board come as Trump Entertainment begins the balloting process for aChapter 11 exit plan that would transform Mr. Icahn the lender into Mr. Icahn the owner.
The NLRB charges follow a union-led demonstration in front of Mr. Icahn’s New York offices, and are geared to send Mr.Icahn a message, according to a press release from the union. Unite Here has engaged in a series of demonstrations overthe loss of health-care and pension benefits at the Trump Taj Mahal.
The crucial showdown, however, may not be on streets of Atlantic City or New York. A federal appeals court inPhiladelphia has set a March hearing date for the union’s challenge to a decision that allowed Trump Entertainment tostrip employees of their health care and pension benefits.
The company says it needs to get out from under the union contract to survive. Unite Here, backed by the NationalLabor Relations Board, says the bankruptcy court overstepped the law when it let Trump Entertainment walk away from itsobligations to workers.
“What is reprehensible is that they’re using union dues and doing everything they can to win this appeal. If they win,the only thing they win is that it will go into a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and the employees they claim to protect will allbe out of work,” Mr. Icahn said.
Last year, the union filed an unfair-labor-practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board accusing the Icahnlending group and Trump Entertainment of failure to bargain in good faith. In Chapter 11 plan documents, TrumpEntertainment said that charge was invalidated by the bankruptcy court ruling on benefits.
(Dow Jones Daily Bankruptcy Review covers news about distressed companies and those under bankruptcy protection. Goto )
Write to Peg Brickley at [email protected]
Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires(END) Dow Jones Newswires 02-03-151645ET Copyright (c) 2015 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
This article appears in: News HeadlinesReferenced Stocks: TRMYQ
first published: 2015-02-02 21:45:00