After almost a month of striking, Detroit’s unions and three major casinos finally agreed on a tentative five-year contract on Friday.
The agreement will cover 3,700 employees, such as dealers, cleaning staff, valets, and food service workers at MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino and Hollywood Casino at Greektown. It will also include an immediate average pay raise of 18 percent.
“We take pride in offering outstanding jobs and benefits that support and reward our committed workforce,” MotorCity Casino Hotel President Bruce Dall said. “We eagerly await the deal’s ratification.”
The Detroit Casino Council, overseeing the negotiations, has kept further details of the deal private as of now.
On Thursday, October 17, workers at Detroit’s three major casinos went on strike. This was Michigan’s latest major labor dispute, following a partial walkout at auto companies. The unions cited concerns about workers receiving only 3 percent raises since a three-year contract extension in 2020.
Unions, however, also pledged to keep the casinos operational during the strike. Matt Buckley, president and chief operating officer of MGM Resorts Midwest Group, conveyed in a letter to employees that they would take any necessary lawful actions to fill shifts and ensure the ongoing provision of entertainment and service to customers.
Terri Sykes, a dealer at MotorCity Casino and president of United Auto Workers Local 7777, expressed worries about health insurance and job security.
“These companies are making more than ever, and it’s time they respect us for all the sacrifices we made during the pandemic,” Sykes said.
Highlighting the three percent raises since 2020, the unions noted that the three Detroit casinos reported $1.27 billion in 2022 revenue. Of that revenue, 77 percent was from slot machines, which contributed $155 million to Detroit.
Simultaneously, the United Auto Workers entered the fifth week of a partial strike against General Motors, Ford Motor, and Stellantis, with over 1,000 people striking at health insurer Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.
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