After 47 days, employees at the MGM Grand Detroit have officially ended their strike by voting to approve the latest contract with their employer. The workers at the casino are members of the Detroit Casino Council union, which represents almost 4,000 workers of the city’s three casinos. The approval of the 5-year contract on December 2nd came weeks after unionized employees were able to reach agreements with two other Detroit casinos following a month-long strike.
The strike was triggered by issues of wages and health care not covering the cost of daily living for employees at Hollywood Casino at Greektown, MGM Grand Detroit, and MotorCity Casino. However, the new agreement, which affects nearly 1,700 workers, includes an average instant wage increase of 18%, a reduction in workload, and no increase in health care costs for workers.
Gabriel Robert Hernandez, a member of Teamsters Local 1038 and a personal attendant at the MGM Grand Detroit, expressed satisfaction with the new contract, stating: “We sacrificed a lot during the pandemic, but we fought for and ultimately won a contract that secures our health care and provides significantly improved wages.” MGM executives have also commented that the agreement means that day-to-day operations will continue as usual.
In addition to the MGM Grand Detroit, the strike at MotorCity Casino and Hollywood Casino at Greektown has also ended. Around 2,100 workers at both casinos have ratified an agreement with their employers, resulting in an instant $3 hourly raise for a total of $5 raise per hour over the course of the contract. The workers will also benefit from reduced workload, technology protections, and no increases in health care costs.
Notably, in a letter to the workers, MGM’s Chairman and COO of Midwest Group, Matt Buckley, expressed disappointment that the DCC-represented employees at the MGM Grand Detroit would reject a contract that the overall majority has approved. However, with the approval of the new contract, operations at the MGM Grand Detroit and the other two casinos can continue, bringing an end to the strikes.