Detroit Evening Report: Striking casino workers march on Detroit City Hall

Listen to the latest episode of the “Detroit Evening Report” podcast.

Striking union members and supporters march in Detroit to rally for a new contract on Oct. 19, 2023.

Striking union members and supporters march in Detroit to rally for a new contract on Oct. 19, 2023.

Striking casino workers gathered in the Coleman A Young Municipal Center Tuesday morning to voice their concerns to Detroit City Council members about their ongoing labor dispute.

Subscribe to the Detroit Evening Report on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Last week, 3,700 casino workers walked off the job at MGM Grand, Motor City Casino and Hollywood Casino at Greektown after the gaming houses failed to reach new contracts before old deals expired with the Detroit Casino Council — the group of five unions handling negotiations. The strike has a wall-to wall impact on operations at the three casinos, with workers in a variety of positions impacted including dealers, cleaning staff, food and beverage workers, valets, engineers and more.

Union officials say they accepted modest raises of 3% to protect healthcare during the 2020 round of bargaining — essentially extending its prior five-year-contract by three years. As a result, they say it’s been almost a decade since casino workers have seen meaningful pay increases.

Striking members said last week they want to be compensated for what they gave up in the last round of negotiations and to address lingering workplace issues.

“The company is offering us nickels and dimes, and they want us to pay more for healthcare,” said Terri Sykes, a dealer at MotorCity Casino with 24 years of service and president of UAW Local 7777, in a statement. “As a two-time breast cancer survivor, I’m fighting to protect our health care. These companies are making more than ever, and it’s time they respect us for all the sacrifices we made to keep the doors open during the pandemic.”

The DCC says the city risks losing more than $450,000 in tax revenue during each day of the strike. In 2022, the wagering tax was the city’s second highest revenue source, surpassing property taxes, the DCC reported.

Other headlines for Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023:

Do you have a community story we should tell? Let us know in an email at

Trusted, accurate, up-to-date.

WDET strives to make our journalism accessible to everyone. As a public media institution, we maintain our journalistic integrity through independent support from readers like you. If you value WDET as your source of news, music and conversation, please make a gift today.

Donate today »


  • Jerome Vaughn
    Jerome Vaughn is News Director at 101.9 WDET. His interest in news reporting began when he was five years old, after his mom bought him a yellow Panasonic ball and chain radio.