by David Madden
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ (CBS) — It’s been a week now since hospitality workers at the Trump Taj Mahal casino hotel in Atlantic City walked out on strike.
Both sides appear dug in for what could be a long, and potentially painful contract dispute.
Some 900 members of Local 54 UNITE HERE have manned picket lines on the boardwalk and while there are people crossing those lines to play and stay there, the union feels it’s making an effective point.
“They had a major boost over the holiday weekend,” union spokeswoman Diana Hussein told KYW Newsradio. “It was almost like a party out there. It was fun for them. They’re ready to keep going and go as long as it takes to get their fair contract.”
Easier said than done, given two things. One, they’re up against billionaire investor Carl Ichan, who got a bankruptcy court to strip the members of health and pension benefits prior to taking over at the Taj. Two, they need to get those benefits back in some form. Fail to do that, and it’s likely to set a precedent other casinos will follow.
No new talks are scheduled. Officials at the Taj Mahal declined to offer a comment on the continuing job action.