MotorCity Casino in Detroit and the statement of strike released by the Detroit Casino Council
Detroit casino workers are set to carry out on threats to go on strike after new contract negotiations failed to find a resolution following multiple bargaining sessions, the Detroit Casino Council (DCC) has confirmed.
New information recieved by Casinos.com has revealed that casino workers and their employers are "dollars apart" in terms of wages. Workers are frustrated having been under the belief that if they persevered during difficult Covid times then they would be rewarded once business was back to normal.
Meghan Cohorst of Unite Here - the Union for hospitality workers in Michigan and Ohio - told Casinos.com, "While I can’t share exact numbers, so far I can say that the two parties are dollars apart on wages. Workers are asking for a significant increase, the highest increase ever for Detroit Casino Workers, but that is after years of smaller raises.
"Workers thought they were making a deal: if they tightened their belts when times were hard for the companies during COVID, they would then share in the prosperity when business came back. So far that hasn’t been the case.
"Workers are willing to stay out for as long as it takes for them to get a fair deal from the casinos."
Workers - including dealers, cleaning staff, food and beverage workers, valets, engineers, and more - that are members of the five unions of the DCC will take to the picket lines outside the city's three casinos at noon today.
MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino Hotel, and Hollywood Casino at Greektown employees will down tools and take to the streets due to disputes over wages and healthcare.
A press release from the Detroit City Council reads, "No deal has been reached yet for thousands of union casino workers who have announced their plan to strike today at Noon if no agreement is reached with Detroit's three casinos.
"The entire union negotiating committee worked through the night to craft a counter-proposal and been waiting over sic hours to receive a company response. With no movement made on the company's side, a strike is still on the horizon."
Speaking to CBS News, a MotorCity Casino Hotel spokesperson commented that 'significant progress' had been made.
"While significant progress has been made, we have not yet reached an agreement with the Detroit Casino Council. We remain committed to bargaining in good faith and achieving a contract that is fair to our employees and allows our company to remain competitive in our industry. As we work to resolve the open issues, we will remain open to serve our guests.
Representative for Hollywood Casino at Greektown Jeff Morris added, "Hollywood Casino at Greektown has had a productive and respectful relationship with the Detroit Casino Council for many years. We are committed to continue working constructively to develop a mutually beneficial agreement that positively positions our Team Members and business for success well into the future."
Each day of a strike could put around $738,000 in city and state tax revenues and $3.4 million in casino operator revenues at risk, according to a report from the DCC on Monday.
It's not the first time casino workers have recently gone on strike in the US. Just last week, casino workers took to the Las Vegas strip as they sought improved conditions on their contracts with MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment Corporation, and Wynn/Encore Resorts.