Detroit Casino Workers Strike Nears One-Month Mark With More Negotiations Scheduled

  • Detroit casino workers negotiated with the three biggest casinos on Wednesday
  • The unions are “down to the core economic issues” and are waiting on a response
  • Las Vegas casino workers reached a tentative deal with Caesars last week
Motorcity Casino in Detroit
As the Detroit casino workers strike approaches a month, the unions continue to negotiate with the casinos. [Image:]

New contract not reached yet

The Detroit Casino Council (DCC), which is made up of UNITE HERE Local 24, UAW, Teamsters Local 1038, Operating Engineers Local 324, and Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters, said it negotiated with Detroit’s three casinos on Wednesday as strike action approaches the one-month mark. They have yet to reach the finish line, though, with more negotiations taking place this week.

down to the core economic issues

According to the DCC, they are “down to the core economic issues” and are waiting on a response to their current proposal. The DCC said that it was “absurd” that casino workers were forced out in the cold to receive a pay raise and to protect their healthcare.

The DCC used Las Vegas as an example where casino workers negotiated for contracts that included pay increases, reduced workloads, and advancements in health, safety, and technology.

Nearly 4,000 casino workers

In October, around 3,700 Detroit casino workers walked out after 99% of voting members from all five unions called for strike action on September 29.

This figure included dealers, food and beverage workers, and cleaners, among others. They seek higher wages to keep up with inflation, improved healthcare and retirement benefits, and job protections. The casinos hit by the strike are MGM Grand operated by MGM Resorts International, MotorCity Casino, and Hollywood Casino at Greektown operated by Penn Entertainment.

have sacrificed raises and shouldered heavier workloads”

Since the pandemic, Detroit’s casino workers “have sacrificed raises and shouldered heavier workloads so the industry could recover,” the DCC said.

Las Vegas strike

In Las Vegas, casino workers came close to strike action against the three major casino companies in the city: MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment, and Wynn Resorts properties.

In September, the Culinary Union, which represents tens of thousands of hospitality workers in Sin City, announced that 95% of its members authorized a citywide strike in a bid to secure new contracts. Contracts between around 40,000 workers and some of Las Vegas’s biggest casino resorts had expired on September 15.

Last week, a deal with Caesars was reached, covering 10,000 of the 35,000 workers impacted. However, union workers still need to vote to approve the proposed Caesars contract. Deals with MGM Resorts and Wynn Resorts have yet to be reached.

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