Oregon AFL-CIO Weekly Update • September 7, 2016
Working for Trump for 26 Years
The following is a powerful story by Patricia Mazur, who has worked at the Trump Taj Mahal for 26 years:
“Going on strike was not an easy decision and not something my co-workers and I at the Trump Taj Mahal took lightly. But we knew it was our only option after billionaire Carl Icahn stripped us of our health care and benefits. And we could use your help keeping our fight alive.
In 26 years serving cocktails at Trump Taj Mahal, I’ve survived four Trump Taj Mahal bankruptcies—and two bouts of breast cancer. There’s never a "good" time to learn that your cancer has returned. But in 2014, when my co-workers and I at the Trump Taj Mahal casino found out we were losing our health care because of Carl Icahn, I received news of my diagnosis.
It was a very scary time for me; not only was it my second go-around with cancer, but I lost my mother to the same illness. As if cancer wasn’t a difficult battle on its own, I had to constantly worry about debt collectors and payment plans on top of recovering from major reconstructive surgery and chemotherapy sessions. Up until the very last day we still had coverage, I was running around doing everything I could to accelerate my procedures. But the bills piled up—fast. I’m living with a friend now because I had to give up my apartment.
At the expense of people like myself who have been invested in the Trump Taj Mahal since the day it opened, billionaire Carl Icahn prioritized padding his pockets for a few extra bucks. And it’ll almost be the anniversary of when I had my operation, the same week our health care coverage ended, that Carl Icahn says he’ll be closing the Trump Taj Mahal for good. But we’ve been fighting back and have been out on strike since July 1, and intend on holding the line strong no matter what.
I don’t know what I would’ve done without the strike hardship fund helping me avoid more collection agents and debt for my chemotherapy bills. By donating to our strike hardship fund, you’re helping keep our fight alive; you’re giving people like me at least one day longer to stand up to a billionaire bully and all the injustices we’ve endured under him at the Trump Taj Mahal.
This fight goes further than Atlantic City; it’s our time to stand up to these billionaires who think it's OK to put a dollar and cent value on the livelihoods of working people.”
Update: Barring late changes, the Trump Taj Mahal is scheduled to close Oct. 10.
Upcoming Labor 2016 Events
Election season is upon us! Here’s a list of upcoming events you won’t want to miss:
- September 10 Southern Oregon Kickoff
- September 11 Canvass for Paul Evans
- September 17 Central Oregon Kickoff & Canvass
- September 17 Portland Kickoff & Canvass
Rally Against Zoom+ Care
Join us for lunch downtown with Zoom! Bring your lunch and help us to demand that Zoom+ be a more responsible community member! Fruit and snacks will be available for free.
Where: Zoom+ Care at 900 SW 5th Ave in downtown Portland
When: Tuesday, September 13 at noon
RSVP & spread the word on Facebook
Portland-based Zoom+ Care is a "fast food medicine," for-profit corporation that is partially owned by the Oregon investment firm, Endeavor Capital. Zoom+ says it is "going to change the way healthcare is being delivered" as it continues its expansion throughout Portland and into the Seattle area, but Zoom+ does not accept Medicare, Medicaid, or Tri-Care patients and they have been accused of "cherry picking" the young and the healthy in order to increase their profit margin.
If Zoom+ is allowed to avoid the problems of dealing with poorer, aging patients who have chronic health problems by marketing only to a young and healthy demographic, it will shift care for the poor, disabled, and elderly onto small, local clinics and non-profit providers who will be left with the burden of labor and cost in caring for an older and sicker population of patients, putting stress on their ability to care for all of us.
We are taking action here in Portland because we must hold Zoom+ accountable for its unethical business practices that harm our community. Holding businesses like Zoom+ Care accountable is a step along the way toward access to healthcare for all Oregonians!
Join us to hold Zoom+ accountable and demand that they accept Medicare, Medicaid, and Tri-care patients!
Portland Jobs with Justice
Oregon Alliance for Retired Americans
Hands On Medicine
Bridge City Family Medical Clinic