MGM Grand Detroit workers rejected the terms of a proposed new labor agreement and will continue striking. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
Some progress The casino industry in North America has been dealing with unhappy employees in recent times, with many of them either going on strike or threatening to strike over their contract demands. Casino workers in Detroit have been on strike a month, but the unions have finally agreed to a new deal with two of Detroit’s three casinos that will see them bring their protests to an end.
ended a 34-day strike at the properties at about 9pm on Sunday
MotorCity Casino and Hollywood Casino at Greektown workers voted in favor of a tentative offer, which ended a 34-day strike at the properties at about 9pm on Sunday. MGM Grand Detroit union members didn’t support the proposal and will keep striking.
The Detroit Casino Council, the organization negotiating on behalf of five unions, didn’t reveal the vote tallies; workers at each property voted separately.
Terms of the new deals The new five-year labor agreements relate to about 2,000 workers at the MotorCity Casino and Hollywood Casino. The rise in wages will be the largest the sector in the city has ever seen. They will get an instant increase in their per-hour wages of $3, with this rising to $5 over the lifetime of the contract. Assurances over healthcare standards, better retirement benefits, and an extra paid holiday day were some of the other improvements.
advance notification of the implementation of technology that could threaten jobs
One of the big concerns for union members was the disruption that new technology could bring to their jobs. That’s why the new contracts include guarantees of advance notification of the implementation of technology that could threaten jobs, with workers who get laid off as a result getting severance pay and healthcare.
The protests The strike that began on October 17 following the expiration of previous contracts involved about 3,700 workers and five different unions. It was the first such casino strike in the industry’s 23-year history in the city. They were pushing for better terms following their personal and financial sacrifices for the companies during the pandemic.
The picketers included table game dealers, cleaning staff, engineers, and valets, among others.
The casinos did not close during the workers’ action – the properties relied heavily on managers to keep operations going. Union members called on patrons to not support the facilities during the strike and to avoid using the casinos’ respective online gambling apps.