January 28, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Philadelphia, PA – federal appeals court ruled Jan. 15 that the bankrupt Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, N.J., can break its contract with UNITE HERE Local 54.
The union was appealing a bankruptcy-court decision last year that Trump Entertainment Resorts, which filed for Chapter 11 in 2014 and was seeking to lower labor costs in order to sell the casino to billionaire Carl Icahn, could impose a new contract on workers there. The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia rejected Local 54’s argument that Trump Entertainment had violated a contract provision requiring 60 days’ notice of any changes to the agreement. Judge Jane Roth wrote held that “it is preferable to preserve jobs” by voiding a collective bargaining agreement instead of “losing the positions permanently by requiring the debtor to comply with the continuing obligations.” About 1,500 of the Taj Mahal’s roughly 3,000 employees were represented by a union when the Trump casino group filed for bankruptcy. Read more