Trump casinos seek judge OK to end union contract

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WILMINGTON, DEL. (AP) — The parent company of Atlantic City's Trump Taj Mahal was set to ask a bankruptcy court judge to let it terminate its union contract.

Trump Entertainment Resorts said it needs relief from pension and health insurance costs in order to keep the casino open past mid-November. A judge in Delaware was to hear the request Tuesday morning, but it's not clear whether a decision would be made that day.

The company said it needs big union concessions and massive tax breaks from Atlantic City and New Jersey — both of which already have rejected the demand.

If the judge rules against the company, it could decide fairly quickly to shut down the Taj Mahal, its lone remaining casino. It would become the fifth of Atlantic City's 12 casinos to close this year.

The company's proposed reorganization hinges on its lender, billionaire Carl Icahn, pumping $100 million in new money into the casino, which he would then own.

In a court filing last week, Local 54 of the Unite-HERE union offered to accept reduced pension contributions, but would not agree to any efforts to end them. The union also wants the eventual owner of Trump Entertainment to be bound by its union contract.

Union members also blocked traffic on a highway Wednesday night in an act of civil disobedience that was staged to protest giveback demands at the Taj Mahal.