Unions & Detroit casinos agree to deal that could conclude strike action

MGM Grand Detroit
Image: CiEll/Shutterstock

The strikes by casino workers in Detroit could be coming to an end after unions and the Motor City’s three casinos reached a tentative five-year contract, according to the Detroit Casino Council.

Following 32 days of strikes from the five unions that comprise the council – UNITE HERE Local 24, UAW Local 7777, Teamsters Local 1038, Operating Engineers Local 324, and the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters – the tentative deal was announced on Friday that could bring it all to an end.

However, the strikes that began on October 17 will continue for the time being until a proposed settlement is ratified.

Covering a coalition representing 3,700 casino workers – dealers, cleaning staff, valets and food staff – at MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino and Hollywood Casino at Greektown, the contract includes the largest wage increase ever negotiated in Detroit’s 23-year casino history.

Alongside the pay increase, featured in the deal is an immediate average pay rise of 18 per cent, no health care cost increases for employees, workload reductions and other job protections, first-ever technology contract language, retirement increases and more.

Detroit Casinos Council added that further details regarding the new agreement will not be disclosed publicly until the unionised casino workers have been given the chance to view the deal first and vote on whether they should accept it.

“Our strike showed the casino industry and the world just what Detroit’s casino workers are made of,” commented Tavera McCree, a Valet Cashier 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.”

According to the Associated Press, Bruce Dall, President of MotorCity Casino, stated on the deal: “We take pride in providing exceptional jobs and benefits that support and reward our dedicated workforce, and we look forward to ratification of the deal.”