Thousands of union casino workers went on strike today after failing to reach a new labor agreement with Detroit’s three casinos by Tuesday’s noon deadline.
The Detroit Casino Council, which represents 3,700 casino employees across five unions, rejected the offer made by MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino, and Hollywood at Greektown late Tuesday morning, based on “five core concerns that the companies’ offer failed to meet, including protecting healthcare, winning job security/technology language that already exists in other casino markets, improving the value of retirement where there has been no increase in eight years, reducing the high workloads that have resulted from 1,500 fewer jobs post pandemic, and securing significant wage increases to make up for the ones workers sacrificed during the pandemic,” the DDC announced in a news release.
According to the DCC, union workers are seeking contract improvements including better wages and health benefits after years of pandemic hardship. Striking workers are employed in a variety of positions throughout the properties, including dealers, cleaning staff, food and beverage workers, valets and engineers.
“Making the decision to strike is never easy, but it’s past time for the workers who keep Detroit’s casinos running to get their fair share,” said Nia Winston, president of UNITE HERE Local 24, the union of hospitality workers in Detroit. “The city’s big three casino operators are earning more than ever, and we’re prepared to stay out on strike until we get what we deserve.”
According to a report released by the DCC on Monday, each day of a strike could put approximately $738,000 in city and state tax revenues and $3.4 million in casino operator revenues at risk.
Prior to the strike, a spokesperson for MotorCity Casino responded to WDET’s request for comment with the following statement:
“While significant progress has been made, we have not yet reached an agreement with the Detroit Casino Council. We remain committed to bargaining in good faith and achieving a contract that is fair to our employees and allows our company to remain competitive in our industry.”
WDET reporter Alex McLenon contributed to this report.