Detroit Casino Council Union workers striking outside MGM GrandSummary:

  • MGM Grand, Hollywood Casino & MotorCity Casino Hotel employees are part of the strike.
  • Employees paced the sidewalks after walking out to showcase their demands.
  • Workers feel underpaid and overworked as casinos profit.

After approving the right to strike, employees of the three major commercial casinos in Detroit are now on strike. A deadline was given for noon on October 17, and the casinos were unable to sign a new contract deal by that time frame.

Once the midday hour arrived, food and beverage workers, cleaning employees, table game dealers, engineers, and others walked out.

No Deal Was Made

The Detroit Casino Council was hopeful that a deal would be struck to help the employees it represents. The UAW, Teamsters Local 1038, Unite Here Local 24, Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and the Operating Engineers Local 324 are all represented by the Council.

After the employees walked out, the streets outside the casinos were filled with signs that showcased the employees’ need for a raise and that casinos shouldn’t ‘Gamble with our Future’ The employees feel it is high time that the casinos share the wealth that they helped create.

Contracts with casinos expired on Monday at midnight, and negotiations continued until around 3:30 a.m. Casino officials came back with a deal just fifty minutes before the strike deadline. Nia Winston, the Unite Here Local 24, says that after 27 hours, the casino officials decided to go home and go to bed, and the unions were still there, committed to bargaining. They came back at 11:10 and provided minimal changes.


Strikes on the Rise

Across the nation, employees are standing up for their union rights and fighting back against their employers. In Detroit, the casino employees want protection for health care benefits, retirement benefits, and higher wages. The demands are not outrageous, and the employees feel that the casinos are taking advantage of them and have disrespected them after they continued to work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The three commercial casinos in Detroit are making more than ever, and the employees are ready to stay on strike until a fair deal can be reached. Officials with the casinos say they are working on a deal and want to reach a fair contract. Penn Entertainment’s owner of Hollywood says the casino will remain open but will have temporary disruptions.

MGM Grand Detroit will also remain open and take any lawful action to fill shifts and offer services to visitors. MotorCity Casino also says it will remain open.

The Detroit strike is one of many taking place in the US or imminent. In the gaming industry, employees in Las Vegas have sent out a message after also struggling with MGM and Caesars, as well as Wynn Resorts, when it comes to cutting a new compact deal. We may see another strike if the brands do not focus on providing a fair union contract in Sin City.

About the Author

Author Sadonna Price has been part of the online casino industry for over a decade, watching it develop and expand across the US. She enjoys playing online slots and table games, as well as Texas Hold’em.