Over 3,700 casino workers walk off jobs

Detroit casino workers strike as contract negotiations over wage, benefit demands see no movement

Reading time 2:13 min

Around 3,700 workers employed at Detroit's three casinos MGM Grand Detroit, Motor City Casino, and Hollywood at Greek Town -- walked off the job at noon on Tuesday as contract negotiations failed to yield new agreements, the Detroit Casino Council (DCC) said.

The striking workforce comprises various roles, including dealers, cleaning staff, food and beverage personnel, valets, engineers, and more.

The DCC is comprised of a negotiating committee consisting of five unions, which include Unite Here Local 24, the UAW, Teamsters Local 1038, Operating Engineers Local 324, and the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters.

The unions’ demands include wages that keep pace with inflation, retirement security, technology safeguards, and other benefits. On September 29, the DCC secured a vote from 99% of unionized workers across the three casinos authorizing the negotiating committee to call for a strike

At the MGM Grand Detroit, hundreds of workers left their posts on Tuesday afternoon, The Detroit News reported. They gathered around the casino, displaying signs with messages such as "Detroit Casino Workers Need a Raise" and "Don't Gamble with our Future." As they marched, they chanted slogans such as "No contract, no peace" and "If we don't get it, shut it down."

The contracts between the casinos and the unions had expired at midnight on Monday. Negotiations persisted until 3:30 AM on Tuesday, according to Nia Winston, President of Unite Here Local 24. She noted that casino officials returned to the negotiation table just 50 minutes before the strike deadline.

"After we were there 27 hours and they decided to go home and go to bed and sleep, we were there still committed to bargaining. And so they came back at 11:10 and very, very minimal movement. So, unfortunately, it brings us to this point,” Winston was quoted as saying in the report.

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