After a 34-day strike at MotorCity Casino and Hollywood Casino in Detroit, around 2,100 workers have finally ratified a contract with their employers. However, the workers at MGM Grand Casino have rejected the proposal and will continue to strike.
The Detroit News reported that the Detroit Casino Council represents around 3,700 workers from these three casinos. The members from each of the three properties on strike voted separately on the offer. MotorCity Casino and Hollywood Casino members voted to ratify the five-year contract. These workers will receive an instant $3 raise per hour, eventually totaling a $5 raise per hour during the contract performance. The workers will also benefit from workload reductions, technology protections, and no health care cost increases.
The strike began on October 17, 2023, after the contract negotiation had failed. The council informed that the strike was due to heavier workloads extending from the pandemic, as well as the rising inflation. The casino workers including dealers, engineers, cleaning, and catering staff reportedly requested increased wages, job and health care protections, and reduced workloads.
The council said that the immediate raise represents an average of 18% for the workers, making it the largest wage increases ever negotiated in the history of the Detroit casino industry. The contract also guarantees that workers will be timely informed of new technology acquisitions by the employer to allow for either staff training for new jobs created by technology or health care and severance payments for the employees made redundant by such technology introduction.
The casino management has welcomed the agreement. John Drake, vice president, and general manager at Hollywood Casino at Greektown, said that casinos appreciate the productive and respectful negotiations with the DCC and are eager to welcome back team members as soon as possible. However, Matt Buckley, president, and COO of MGM Resorts Midwest Group, referred to the MGM workers’ decision to reject the proposal and continue to strike as a very disappointing result. He stated that the casino will continue its operations regardless of the strike.