Detroit casino workers set to walk out at noon

workers striking
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Casino workers in Detroit will conduct a strike at noon today if a deal is not agreed between the three properties and the Detroit Casino Council

It comes amid a dispute over pay and conditions in the renegotiations of casino workers’ contracts, which are currently set to expire today. Union representatives argue that workers have suffered hardship throughout the last few years with pandemic pressures and below-inflation pay increase offers. 

The Union stated it has spent over 160 hours in direct negotiations with the casino operators in the city but is yet to reach any agreement on wages, healthcare, retirement security, technology language and workload. 

Consequently, an ultimatum has been set that the workers will walk out and stage a strike at noon today if an agreement is not reached by then.

“After we helped Detroit’s gaming industry get back on its feet, business is booming, but the people who make the casinos run are still struggling,” said Nia Winston, UNITE HERE Local 24 President. “Our goal is to reach a fair deal, but unfortunately, we’re still far apart. If the companies cannot do better, then we are prepared to strike.”

Earlier this month, 99% of workers voted to authorize strike action after negotiations with MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino and Hollywood at Greektown failed to come to fruition.

The DCC states warned the casino operators that any strike action could come with severe costs for their operations this week. Estimates suggest that approximately $738,000 in city and state tax revenues and $3.4m in casino operator revenues per day could be lost from the lack of productivity associated with the strike. 

In 2022, the wagering tax, inclusive of online sports betting and igaming as well as land-based casinos, was the second biggest contributor to the state of Michigan’s tax revenue.

Strikes in Michigan made national and global headlines last month after President Joe Biden became the first sitting US president to join a picket line when he supported UAW members’ strike against the big three car manufacturers.