In a recent interview, you stated that I should start thinking about my legacy. My answer to you is that I have thought about my legacy for many years. I have committed myself to a path of charitable giving that shows just how much I care about the less fortunate, especially children in need. As you may know, I’ve donated hundreds of millions of dollars, established seven Charter schools, given away hundreds of scholarships and pledged almost $200 million to the Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York. I could go on and on, but my point is that helping the lives of those in need has always been, and will always be, a clear priority for me. But more to the point, I also care about the Taj Mahal, and that is why I am doing everything I can to save the jobs of the 3,000 employees who work there. To that end, I am agreeing to exchange my $286 million of outstanding debt for equity and, if the proper deal is reached with the City, State and Union, to invest an additional $100 million in the Taj. In addition, even though the Judge observed that the Union did not bargain in good faith and ruled that the company could terminate the existing healthcare plan and pension, I have told the company that I will even go along with their proposal to restore Local 54 healthcare for two years and create a new pension, if Local 54 will withdraw its appeal and provide labor peace.
Bob – As you know, this is a bad investment for me at this time, evidenced by the fact that no one else is willing to invest even a dime. I thought the company’s proposal and my agreement to support it would give the Union what you wanted so that we could move forward. All that is being asked of you is to withdraw your appeal. I’m amazed that the Union is unwilling to agree to a company proposal that restores two years of healthcare, provides a new pension, keeps the Taj open and saves 3,000 jobs – basically ALL of the things that you and Senator Sweeney have asked for – if you just withdraw the appeal and give us labor peace. As you know, it’s impossible for me to invest in the Taj Mahal while the appeal is pending, and even if you win the appeal all it will do is ensure that the Taj Mahal closes.
You asked me about my legacy, so let me ask about yours. The Press of Atlantic City concluded in an editorial today that “McDevitt is playing with other people’s money – and lives.” Do you really want your legacy, and that of Local 54, to be defined by closing the Taj and putting 3,000 people out of work unnecessarily? There is no time left to negotiate, and that is why the company and I have put everything on the table.
I really hope you will call the company and let them know that you are agreeing to their proposal so that these 3,000 jobs can be saved and we can all work together to make the Taj Mahal great again.