Workers at two Detroit casinos, Hollywood Casino at Greektown and MotorCity Casino, agreed this week to ratify negotiated deals to end their monthlong strike. However, union members at the other commercial gaming facility in the city, the MGM Grand Detroit, rejected the deal and continued their strike.
According to the Detroit Casino Council, the union which represents the casino workers, union members at each of the three casinos voted separately to decide whether to agree to the tentative deal that the union announced last week.
The Detroit casino strike began Oct. 17 at all three facilities. The walkout included a “wall-to-wall” range of 3,700 workers, such as dealers, housekeepers and other cleaning staff, food and beverage workers, valets, engineers, and more.
The union statement issued on Friday said, “This settlement is a historic investment in Detroit’s future. This new contract brings together workers and employers in partnership to fulfill the gaming industry’s promise to Detroit of high-paying casino jobs with good benefits.”
But the announcement added that it was a tentative deal, and that the unions would continue to strike until the union members ratify the proposed settlement. Workers at the MotorCity and Greektown casinos returned to work after agreeing to their deal.
Terms Of Tentative Agreement
Some terms of the five-year tentative agreement between the union workers and the three commercial land-based casinos in Michigan are:
- The largest wage increases ever negotiated in the Detroit casino industry’s 23-year history, including an immediate 18% pay raise on average.
- No health care cost increases for employees.
- Workload reductions and other job protections.
- First-ever technology contract language.
- Retirement increases.
An announcement from the union, released Sunday night, also touted a 401k employer match program up to $1,000 in Year 2, and the granting of a paid Juneteenth holiday.
Affect On Michigan Casino Revenue
Five unions comprise the Detroit Casino Council: UNITE HERE Local 24, UAW Local 7777, Teamsters Local 1038, Operating Engineers Local 324 and the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters.
The Michigan online casinos and mobile sports wagering operators reported their numbers on Nov. 21. Mobile sports betting continued apace for the month; in fact, Michigan set state records for total sports betting handle ($571.1 million) and online amount wagered ($533 million).
Retail Casino Revenue Dipped In October
But in recent industry financial reports for October, the three casinos combined for about $81.7 million in total adjusted gross receipts for the month in which workers began their labor stoppage. That was the lowest monthly total for Detroit casinos since 2020, when the casinos were either shut down or operating at greatly reduced capacity for much of the year because of pandemic-related restrictions. Online gaming totals were down slightly in October, with iGaming revenue falling 3.7%, from $149.76 million in September to $144.25 million.
“Our strike showed the casino industry and the world just what Detroit’s casino workers are made of,” Tavera McCree, a valet cashier at Hollywood Casino at Greektown, said in the announcement on the union website. “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.”
The strike began Oct. 17, with workers saying they needed to protect their healthcare and improve wages that have not kept up with the cost of living. The unions pointed out that they sacrificed to allow the casino industry to survive the economic hardships that the facilities suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic.
BetMichigan.com will have more on this story as it progresses, plus the best Michigan online casino bonuses on the market.