Detroit Casino Workers Will Strike for First Time if Contract Deal Isn’t Reached

  • Around 3,700 casino workers will strike if a new contract has not been agreed upon
  • The casinos affected are MGM Grand, MotorCity Casino, and Hollywood Casino
  • Las Vegas with casino workers have also authorized strike action if necessary
Man yelling into megaphone at protest
Detroit’s first-ever casino workers strike could happen on Tuesday if a new contract deal isn’t reached. [Image:]

Strike action imminent

Detroit’s first-ever casino strike is to take place on Tuesday at noon unless a contract deal is reached, the Detroit Casino Council (DCC) has said.

includes dealers, food and beverage workers, and cleaners

Around 3,700 Detroit casino workers will walk out after 99% of voting members from all five union groups called for strike action on September 29. This includes dealers, food and beverage workers, and cleaners. They seek higher wages to keep up with inflation, improved healthcare and retirement benefits, and job protections.

The casinos hit by the strike will be MGM Grand operated by MGM Resorts International, MotorCity Casino, and Hollywood Casino at Greektown operated by Penn Entertainment.

The unions represented are UNITE HERE Local 24, UAW, Teamsters Local 1038, Operating Engineers Local 324, and Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters.

Detroit inflation rises to 20%

Negotiations, which began last summer, have failed to yield a new contract. According to UNITE HERE Local 24 President Nia Winston, what they are asking for is basic and shouldn’t be an issue for employers.

Patrick Nichols, a dealer at MGM Grand, said negotiating a new contract is similar to a card game, and that “you’ve got to keep your poker face.” 

Nichols added they are taking action because they “need to survive” as inflation and the cost of living are making affording things tough.

We know we cannot stop technology, but we need to be able to protect ourselves.”

Susan Gallagher, who was a bartender at Hollywood at Greektown for 23 years, said that new technology is threatening their work. She added: “We know we cannot stop technology, but we need to be able to protect ourselves.”

The current contracts casino workers are under came into effect in September 2020 just after pandemic-enforced enclosures of casinos ended. Then, the DCC agreed to a three-year contract extension with 3% annual raises. However, according to the DCC, inflation in Detroit has risen to 20% since then.

Las Vegas

The impending strikes in Detroit come at a time when similar measures are being taken in Las Vegas.

In September, the Culinary Union, which represents tens of thousands of hospitality workers in Sin City, announced on X that 95% of its members have authorized a citywide strike in a bid to secure new contracts.

Contracts with around 40,000 workers and some of Las Vegas’s biggest resorts expired on September 15. The contracts affected casino workers at MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment, and Wynn Resorts properties.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *