Detroit Casino Staff and Unions come to Agreement to End Strike

Casino workers in Detroit are expected to return to their jobs soon following the announcement of a deal to end their month-long strike. The deal, announced on Friday, will need to be ratified by the workers before it takes effect. Around 3,700 unionized casino employees went on strike on October 17, seeking better wages, benefits, and working conditions.

The tentative agreement sets the terms for a new five-year contract between the unions and the casino operators. The unions represented casino dealers, cleaning staff, restaurant workers, and other employees. The strike came after workers said they were not being compensated fairly after agreeing to significant concessions in their previous contract to help the casinos weather the pandemic-related economic downturn.

Under the new contract, workers will see an immediate average pay bump of 18%, the largest wage increases ever negotiated in the Detroit casino industry’s 23-year history. The deal also includes no health care cost increases for employees, workload reductions, and other job protections, first-ever technology contract language, retirement increases, and more.

The strike led to service cutbacks and revenue declines at the three affected casinos in the city, MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino Hotel, and Hollywood Casino at Greektown. The casinos saw a significant drop in revenue compared to October 2022.

Resolution of the casino strike comes a few weeks after UAW members agreed to end their strikes in the auto industry and after members of the Hollywood writers and actors’ unions won concessions from the major studios following their own strikes. It also comes a week after unions in Las Vegas reached a deal to avert a strike of workers there.

In Detroit, the strike took a significant bite out of the casinos’ revenues. MGM Grand Detroit collected $37.3M last month, down 16.5% from October of 2022. MotorCity Casino Hotel earned $25M, down 19.2%, while Hollywood Casino at Greektown brought in $19.4M, a 20.2% drop.