Posts byTC Owens

No Contract No Peace: One month into the Trump Taj Mahal strike

One month ago today, 1,000 UNITE HERE! Local 54 casino workers at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City took to the picket line to fight for health care, pensions, paid breaks and other benefits. The last time workers walked off the job for this long was 2004, when 10,000 workers went on strike at the height of the industry’s profitability. Current owner of the Taj, billionaire Carl Icahn stripped workers of these benefits 21 months ago through bankruptcy proceedings, amidst casino closures that left 5,000 workers without jobs. Those who remain have had to forego medical treatments for chronic
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We Sink Or Swim Together

“I want our city to unite. We sink or swim together. This is about us.” – Betty Lewis of the NAACP on the state takeover of Atlantic City Atlantic City is under threat – but this historic American community has faced threats before.  This spring, facing a massive bankruptcy, Governor Chris Christie and State Senator Steve Sweeney pushed to move Atlantic City’s finances to state-level control through a state takeover. If passed, the proposed takeover, meant to protect the City from declaring bankruptcy, would have dismantled collective bargaining for city employees, nullified the power of elected officials (and hence the
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A City Like a Phoenix: Belinda Manning on the Lifeblood of Atlantic City

“For years, this city has been like the phoenix… we have not learned from its past resurrections the importance of including residents, and those people who struggle on a day to day basis to keep this city alive, and provide the lifeblood of this city.” – Belinda Manning Belinda Manning is a poet, artist, community activist, volunteer, and long-time resident of Atlantic County. A few weeks ago, we met in the Civil Rights Garden in Atlantic City to talk about the importance of this place to her. We talked about the power and promise of this Garden, as well as the challenges
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Listening from Below and the State Takeover of Atlantic City

There’s a takeover going on in Atlantic City, and it’s national news.  Trenton is near to approving a bill that would give the state near total authority to run AC for the next five years. If the bill is approved, the state is expected to slash budgets, sell assets, and cancel labor contracts in order to balance the city’s budget. Atlantic City’s balance sheet is due to run out of money on April 8. For the past year, Kevin Lagin, the same emergency manager that took Detroit through its bankruptcy process, has been under contract to assess how to deal
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Video: The aftermath of casino closures in AC

Building a Sandcastle: A Broken Promise to Atlantic City tells the stories of the casino workers who remain after the wave of casino closures and layoffs in 2014. Now employed by an industry looking to secure its bottom line by cutting pensions, healthcare and work hours, casino employees are getting organized and fighting back. In the process they are working with neighbors across Atlantic City to reimagine the future of this resort town on the Jersey coast. Look for more stories from NJ as MMP works with communities throughout the state to build independent media and create new ties to
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