After a month-long strike, workers at two Detroit casinos have agreed to end the strike and return to work this week, while the strike continues at a third major casino in the city. Employees of Hollywood Casino at Greektown and MotorCity Casino voted to ratify a proposed new five-year contract, while those at MGM Grand Casino will remain on strike after rejecting the proposed deal.
Under the new five-year contract, workers will receive an immediate $3/hr pay increase, which will grow to $5/hr over the life of the contract. This results in an average wage increase of 18% for employees, which the union has hailed as the largest pay raise in the history of the Detroit casino industry. The Detroit Casino Council, a coalition of unions representing the striking workers, stated that they will seek to schedule additional bargaining dates with MGM to continue contract talks.
The strike, which began on October 17 by 3,700 employees at the three properties, aimed to secure better pay, benefits, and job protections. With the ratification vote, 2,100 employees are returning to work at Hollywood and MotorCity casinos.
Matt Buckley, president and COO of MGM Grand’s Midwest Group, expressed disappointment in a letter to employees after around 600 MGM employees voted in favor of ratifying the contract. MGM would remain open, and employees who want to return to work are free to do so, with no specific plans to return to the bargaining table.
The new contract not only includes the pay raise but also additional concessions from the casino companies such as no increase in health care costs, lighter workloads, new job protections, and Juneteenth recognized as a paid holiday. The Detroit Casino Council, representing five unions that include dealers, cleaning staff, restaurant workers, and other employees, hailed the settlements at Hollywood Casino at Greektown and MotorCity Casino as a win for union workers nationwide fighting for economic justice.