ATLANTIC CITY — No new talks are scheduled between UNITE-HERE Local 54 and the representatives of the Taj Mahal, union officials said Sunday.
Nearly 1,000 Local 54 members at the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort went on strike July 1 after negotiations fell apart. On Sunday, union members continued to picket outside the casino. While walking, they chanted, “No Contract, No Peace.”
“It’s entirely up to the business owner,” union President Bob McDevitt said on when the talks will start again. “They are treating us like second class citizens.”
McDevitt said it was a week ago last Thursday that the two sides held talks.
Taj Mahal owner Carl Icahn said after the strike started that the casino offered the union a health-care deal he thought members would accept. But McDevitt called that offer a “shadow” of what the union got from other casinos.
“How do you not invest in your workers?” asked Marc Scittina, a 25-year-old employee at the Taj Mahal. “We just don’t think it’s fair.”
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A potentially larger strike loomed in late June until the union and four Atlantic City casinos reached tentative agreements June 30. Local 54 settled on contracts late last month with Caesars Atlantic City, Bally’s Atlantic City, Harrah’s Resort and Tropicana Casino and Resort. Icahn also owns Tropicana.
“They are still fighting for health care, pension contributions and break time,” said Farook Hossain, who works at Tropicana in the food services department. “Because Tropicana is doing well, that is why he settled there but he did not settle this one. We want to push him to settle this one.”
Since the start of the strike, union members have been visited by a variety of politicians, including presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., New Jersey’s U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-2nd, and David Cole, LoBiondo’s opponent in the November general election. Booker and LoBiondo visited the workers Saturday.
“We are prepared to be here for as long as it takes,” Scittina said.