Thousands of Detroit casino workers threaten to go on strike on Tuesday
About 3,700 Detroit casino workers are set to strike on Tuesday noon, if a contract deal is not reached, the Detroit Casino Council (DCC) said on Monday.
A strike will hit operations at MGM Grand Detroit operated by MGM Resorts International, MotorCity Casino and Hollywood Casino at Greektown operated by Penn Entertainment.
On Sept. 29, 99 percent of voting workers from all unionized groups at the three Detroit casinos voted to authorize the DCC negotiating committee to call a strike.
Negotiations, which began in the summer, have not yielded a contract that increases wages to keep up with inflation and improves healthcare and retirement benefits.
When casinos struggled during the pandemic, the DCC in 2020 agreed to a three-year contract extension with 3 percent annual raises but inflation in Detroit has risen 20 percent since then, according to a statement on Monday from the DCC.
Industry gaming revenues have since surpassed pre-pandemic levels, with the Detroit casino industry generating $2.27 billion in 2022, as per the negotiating committee.
Higher wages, benefits
The DCC estimates that if workers are forced to strike at the three casinos, it could put at risk $3.4 million in operator revenue per day, with the highest impact to MGM Grand Detroit at $1.7 million.
The Detroit Casino Council is a negotiating committee made up of five unions including Unite Here Local 24, the UAW, Teamsters Local 1038, Operating Engineers Local 324, and the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters.
Unions across a range of industries in the U.S. such as rail, healthcare have bargained for higher wages and benefits in a tight labor market and a high inflationary environment.
The Detroit strike announcement comes as 40,000 Las Vegas hospitality workers employed at casinos operated by MGM, Caesars Entertainment and Wynn Resorts are engaged in talks for higher wages and benefits.
The Culinary Workers and Bartenders Unions held a picket at Vegas properties of MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment last Thursday. They have not yet announced a strike deadline.