Trump Taj Mahal Bankruptcy Proceedings Could Go Before Supreme Court If Atlantic City Union Prevails

Posted on: May 30, 2016, 06:29h. 

Last updated on: May 31, 2016, 11:12h.

UPDATE MAY 31, 2016: The Supreme Court has rejected the UNITE HERE appeal. 

Attorneys from the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City might be trekking south to Washington, DC, should the United States Supreme Court accept an appeals case brought against the casino resort by a local labor union.

Trump Taj Mahal Unite Here US Supreme Court
The Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, which still bears the GOP candidate’s name, is facing pushback after a local union petitioned the US Supreme Court to overturn a bankruptcy court’s verdict and restore employee benefits. (Image:

UNITE HERE Local 54, the largest casino workers union in Atlantic City, sued Trump Entertainment Resorts in October of 2014, after a bankruptcy court allowed the casino to terminate the union’s collective bargaining agreement (CBA) and cease paying existing health benefits and pensions.

In January, the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia ruled with the bankruptcy court. “Under the policies of bankruptcy law, it is preferable to preserve jobs through a rejection of a CBA, as opposed to losing the positions permanently,” Judge Jane Roth wrote.

UNITE HERE is now going after its last-chance attempt to overturn the verdict by appealing to the US Supreme Court. The high court is expected to rule on numerous appeals on Tuesday and announce which cases it will accept.

No Jobs with Benefits

 Attorneys for the union say the Trump Taj Mahal bankruptcy proceedings allowed the company to swim out from underwater at the expense of the employees.

“This is about how a bankruptcy was used to transfer value from working people to the super-rich,” UNITE HERE general counsel Richard McCracken said, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.

Carl Icahn, longtime friend to Donald Trump, now the Republican nominee for the presidential election, acquired the property in February of 2016 after the CBA terms were annulled. Icahn agreed to assume over a quarter of a billion dollars in debt and plans to invest upwards of $100 million to renovate the facility.

During a GOP debate in August, Trump said of his Taj Mahal’s bankruptcy: “These lenders aren’t babies, these are total killers. These are not the sweet little people you think.”

But faulting on monies owed to lenders allowed Trump’s corporation to effectively end its CBA with UNITE HERE.

Chances Slim for UNITE

Should the Supreme Court decide to take on the UNITE HERE v. Trump Entertainment Resorts lawsuit, the case would certainly add yet more hurdles to Trump’s summer and fall campaign for the White House.

With Hillary Clinton the presumed opponent, Trump will face attacks from his Democratic foe and an ongoing legal case against the casino business he founded won’t do him any favors. Trump’s campaign is heavily based on his business record, so having former employees speak out against him, the same people he touts as proof he’s ready to lead the country to more prosperous times, could conceivably slow his momentum heading into November.

The odds, however, are in Trump’s corner.

According to the Administrative Office of the US Courts, the Supreme Court accepts just 100-150 of the more than 7,000 cases it is asked to review annually. For the high court to welcome an appeal, four of the justices must vote to take the case.

With just two percent of petitions granted, UNITE HERE is betting on odds worse than the tie bet at baccarat.

It’s quite unlikely that the Supreme Court will hear UNITE v. Trump, but then again, it once seemed unfathomable that the Donald would secure the Republican Party nomination.