Detroit City Council supports casino workers despite disruption

Detroit sign
Image: Shutterstock

The Detroit City Council has thrown its support behind striking casino workers seeking better pay despite the disruption to the properties which generate a significant amount of tax revenue for the local government. 

Council President Mary Sheffield published a document urging casinos to find a resolution with the striking workers, who walked out last week. 

Sheffield explained that workers have endured a difficult three years in which they have had to shoulder a greater workload with a minimal pay increase to show for it. 

Citing that the city’s three casinos have generated record revenues despite having 1500 fewer members of staff, Sheffield stated: “The Detroit City Council supports working people across every sector of our economy and recognizes that working people deserve respect, adequate workplace protections and the right to a living wage.” 

One week ago, workers began a strike affecting 3,700 casino employees across a broad range of professions including dealers, cleaning staff, food and beverage workers, valets, and engineers.

The Detroit Casino Council – representing striking workers – warned the operators that strike action could cost 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. 

Despite this, Sheffield, who is the youngest Council President in Detroit history after being elected in 2022 on a mandate to turn around the city’s financial crisis post-covid, reiterated her support for striking workers. 

The President of the Council, who recently prematurely launched a bid for the 2025 mayoralty, added: “The Detroit City Council supports and stands in solidarity with striking Detroit casino workers and the Detroit Casino Council as they continue to seek a resolution to the strike that results in improved compensation and working conditions for its members working for MGM Grand, MotorCity Casino Hotel, and Hollywood Casino at Greektown.”