Detroit casino workers call off strike following 18% pay rise

MGM Grand Detroit
Image: Shutterstock

The Detroit Casino Council has brought the workers’ strike to a close after 32 days as the union secured a new deal with the three casino operators including an 18% pay increase. 

Reaching the “largest pay rise” in Detroit casino employment history, the union shook hands on increased terms for a five-year contract that ensures operations at the casinos can return to normal. 

Furthermore, the DCC reached other terms with the operators including no health care cost increases, workload restrictions, technology contract language, retirement increases amongst other undisclosed terms. 

Union members will be called upon to vote on the new contract in due course but it is expected that workers will accept the record pay increases to return to work. 

Over 3,700 workers walked out of MotorCity Casino, Hollywood Casino at Greektown, and MGM Grand Detroit on October 17 and subsequently urged players to boycott the online partners of these properties. 

“Our strike showed the casino industry and the world just what Detroit’s casino workers are made of,” said a member of staff at Hollywood Casino at Greektown and member of Teamsters Local 1038. 

“This is a defining moment for workers in Detroit and nationwide. The gains we have made will change the lives of so many families who are living paycheck to paycheck. I would like to thank everyone who stood strong on the picket line to make this win possible.”

Data published last week laid bare the economic impact that the strike was having on the casinos throughout the last two weeks of October. 

The Michigan Gaming Control Board’s latest data displayed that the three casinos made $82.8m in October trading, a fall of nearly 20% year-over-year. 

November revenue will likely be impacted to a greater extent as workers continued their strike for an additional two-and-a-half weeks. 

This tentative agreement comes just weeks after a similar case in Las Vegas, where the Culinary Workers Union threatened strike action across the strip as a dispute with MGM, Caesars and Wynn was ongoing. A tentative agreement was reached days and hours before a union-set deadline for strike action. 

The DCC stated: “This settlement is a historic investment in Detroit’s future. This new contract brings together workers and employers in partnership to fulfill the gaming industry’s promise to Detroit of high-paying casino jobs with good benefits. 

“The historic five-year tentative agreement covering 3700 employees includes the largest wage increases ever negotiated in the Detroit casino industry’s 23-year history.”