Carl Icahn’s Letter To Local 54 Employees Of The Trump Taj Mahal

Carl Icahn’s Letter To Local 54 Employees Of The Trump Taj Mahal
Image: FBN

Carl Icahn’s Letter To Local 54 Employees of the Trump Taj Mahal by Carl Icahn, Sharholders’ Square Table


Play Quizzes 4

767 Fifth Avenue, Suite 4700

New York, New York 10153

London Quality Growth Investor Conference: Buy Dassault Systemes

invest Southpoint CapitalAt this year's inaugural London Quality Growth Investor conference, Denis Callioni, analyst and portfolio manager at European investment group Comgest, highlighted one of the top ideas of the Comgest Europe Growth Fund. According to the speaker, the team managing this fund focus on finding companies that have stainable growth trajectories with a proven track record Read More

June 9, 2015

Get The Full Series in PDF

Get the entire 10-part series on Charlie Munger in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues.

To Local 54 Employees of the Trump Taj Mahal:

There are some important facts about your union that it is critical that you understand.  UNITEHERE is a driving force behind a dysfunctional system that enriches those in power to the detriment of its own members.  In Atlantic City, they have contributed to the precipitous downfall and closure of one-third of the casinos, which has resulted in a devastating loss of employment for so many of your brethren in that city.  Nationally, they use the money contributed to pension funds on your behalf to buy stock in public companies, and then use that stock to intimidate these companies into joining pension and healthcare plans that will further increase their own income and fees.  This has resulted in tremendous underperformance at your expense.  For example, the NRF pension fund that UNITEHERE promotes has been managed so poorly that it will likely have to be abandoned.  At the end of 2013 (the most recent date for which information is publicly available), the NRF pension fund was less than 60% funded.  It had a shortfall of over $3.7 billion according to the Form 5500 filed with the Department of Labor, and as a result the federal government has classified it as being in critical status.  Nevertheless, your union continues to try to force employers to make contributions into the NRF pension fund, even though they know that 86,000 current workers will not accrue any additional benefits from those contributions.  In other words, your Union is needlessly putting your pension at risk!  It’s akin to a ponzi scheme – one that UNITEHERE has fully supported for years.

Unfortunately it seems that you continue to believe the many lies your union leadership keeps telling you, even though it is obvious that the union leadership uses your capital to enrich themselves.  But we intend to put a stop to this.  We believe it is incumbent upon us to rouse shareholders to action.  Shareholders of companies in hospitality, gaming and other industries need to understand that their management teams and boards of directors are allowing corporate assets to be pillaged by UNITEHERE when they acquiesce to demands that they contribute to the critically underfunded NRF pension plan.  I personally have no idea how a board of directors could justify submitting to these uneconomic demands, and I believe shareholders should be asking whether it is consistent with the fiduciary duties of their directors to waste corporate assets in support of a critically underfunded pension plan that may never pay a dime to current employees.  Tropicana recognized all of this, and instead of contributing to the black hole that is the NRF pension fund, it has been accruing contributions that will be safe and secure for the future of its employees.  Because I believe UNITEHERE has a stranglehold over companies that lack the fortitude to fight back, we have launched our own investigation into the matter, and we plan to take the fight to any company where we find malfeasance and sweetheart Union deals.

Your union leadership has used lies to obfuscate the truth.  They have enriched themselves at the expense of our companies and their employees.  But this will no longer be a one-way street whereby union leadership intimidates and threatens corporate management and boards of directors.  I am working assiduously to uncover the truth concerning UNITEHERE’s leadership, who I believe are entrenched, self-dealing and dishonest.

Sincerely Yours,

Carl C. Icahn


Additionally, both the flyer and the letter your leadership distributed in front of my building today, to say it bluntly, are full of blatant lies.  In a number of ways they blame me for the problems at the Taj.  However, your union leadership is in full knowledge of the fact that, as I have said countless times already, I am not currently, nor have I ever been, on the board of the Taj Mahal or involved in managing the Taj Mahal.  It was the company itself, and not me, that asked the bankruptcy judge to allow them to stop making payments to your UNITEHERE Health plan and to make changes to your work rules, and they did this because the only other alternative would have been to close the Taj Mahal.  Frankly, I think they made the right decision.  I view it as a difficult decision that was made in order to SAVE YOUR JOBSThat is the fundamental truth that your union leadership continues to obfuscate – if the Taj Mahal was required to make contributions to the immensely profitable UNITEHERE Health plan then there would be no Taj Mahal, you would have no job and the blood of another Atlantic City casino would be on the hands of your union leadership.

It is an undisputable fact that your union leadership refused to negotiate with the Taj as its losses were mounting and it was pushed into bankruptcy.  Your union leadership refused to consider any concession that would have helped keep the Taj afloat, and that is because your jobs do not matter to the union leadership.  Instead, all they care about is keeping the money flowing into their lucrative health plan that has made more than $140 million of net income over the past five years.  As a result, the company reached out to me to see if I would provide the money necessary to save the Taj, just as I had done for the Tropicana several years ago.  And I did just that, loaning the Taj tens of millions of dollars in DIP financing and providing a commitment to lend $80 million if the company emerges from bankruptcy.  That is on top of the more than $200 million I have already lost in this investment.  I am not asking you to thank me for keeping the Taj open, but blaming me is patently ridiculous and completely disconnected from reality.

Updated on

No posts to display


  1. Carl Ichan should fire any employee who goes on strike
    I would love to see the TAJ closed down
    Let the employees who work there
    be homeless.

  2. Gee,,,,now who didn’t read the letter…he claims it is underfunded and he is trying to get the union people to volunteer it up to him…..he is nothing more than a charlatan and you are nothing more than a shill for his pedantic ramblings….

  3. You may have a point…but one can’t help but note that, based on the membership figures of unions – and the jobs those figures represent – over the past few decades, union officials have failed MISERABLY at their jobs; they obviously have not earned the amount they’re paid or, possibly, any pay whatsoever. Most billionaires got that way because of (at least somewhere down the line) an element of performance. If “performance” was applied to many union officials, then I suspect they’d OFFICIALLY be applying for welfare (unofficially, they’ve been asking for it for years!)

    Tell me; how much do you think individuals who have squandered literally hundreds of thousands – if not MILLIONS – of their members jobs away should be paid? Seems to me the job they’ve done constitutes a negative….not something that should be rewarded.

  4. I hope Ichan takes over fast. The management running that place now is running it to the ground, just like they did at the Plaza.. Dirty conditions, unfair gaming incentives and some employees down right ignorant.. I can go on believe me I’m not a once in awhile player I’m there every weekend

  5. Anytime the owners/management asked workers for concessions, they are asking the workers to invest unpaid labor in the business. They should offer a piece of the future gains to the workers to repay them for their investment. What Icahn is complaining about, is that the workers would not take less and let the owners/management keep all the resulting gains. He keeps talking about “Their Jobs” like the job is a gift from the owners. Every product and service that a customer pays for is produced and delivered by a worker. Every payday the workers are paid less than the value of the revenue they produce. They aren’t given free money just because they have a “job”.

  6. Icahn turned the trop around and now it’s making money. the place is being renovated at looks GORGEOUS!!. please, please, please don’t give up on the taj, mr Icahn. it’s home to so many of us and we love it. this union smells of week old trout, preying upon their members and giving nothing back.

  7. Before 10 months ago I lost my job and then I was fortunate to learn about an awesome site which really helped me out. I started working for them on-line and soon after that, I’ve started earning ten thousand of dollars /every m0nth… The best thing was that all I needed were basic typing skills and reliable internet connection to start…

    Ifi could do it, so can you

  8. I no longer have a job because the union put so many financial demands on my company that they finally said “enough” and closed the doors. Our CEO made no attempt to hide the fact that he was closing because he was sick and tired of dealing with the union over unreasonable demands

  9. As a shareholder of Icahn Enterprises, I say ENOUGH already. Don’t put another penny into this dog. Close it down, and let these idiots fend for themselves. There are bigger fish to fry and there are numerous opportunities without dealing with this type of nonsense.
    Let it go Carl.

  10. Dear Carl, It is also a complete disconnect from reality to “dump” $200 million into a “black hole.” At no point am I going to defend the union bosses and their schemes, but NO one in their right mind would put $200 mill into something unless it is to make more on top of that. Even if it is less than 1% of your net worth. It’s all designed to protect the Trop FIRST.

  11. LABOR UNION! LABOR! Your level of education does not make you a rockstar. Apparently you don’t understand what it is to be a laborer or skilled worker. As for the right to work law, it gives companies the right to hire and fire whom they please even if there is some hidden discrimination. Apparently your self perception is off the map. Only people that make this kind of statement are: company owners or investors. Big I Little you!
    This country was built off the back of skilled laborers! Share the wealth. Sorry you don’t get it.

  12. This motherfocher never worked a manual job in his life he’s another raper and pillager of companies pension funds and their equity, putting it bluntly he is a vampire, he sucks the life out and leaves the carcuss.

  13. There is no money in the pension fund. Didn’t you read the letter?? Unions are all about the fat cats at the top, just as Icahn states. Ever wonder why educated professionals like accountants, lawyers and doctors don’t create or join unions, just the working man? That’s because they are educated and thus are incredibly difficult to take advantage of, unlike working people who are bye and large not educated enough to know they’re being fooled by the union bosses. Time for a national right to work law to put the final nail in the coffins of these parasite unions.

  14. Is anyone else out there getting as tired as I am of the old talking point where people who are worth billions try to make the union membership mad at the union officials for making a couple of hundred thousand dollars a year? Do some research, Icahn has already grabbed pensions in the past.

  15. Carl Icahn is the first person to bluntly state the truth about unions: the leadership exploits their membership for personal gain. Is there any wonder why only 7% of private sector employees place any value on union membership?

Comments are closed.