Potential labor unrest looms over Detroit’s three prominent gaming properties, as unionized workers threaten to strike following the expiration of their contracts. The tussle centers around MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino Hotel, and Hollywood Casino at Greektown, involving thousands of employees responsible for areas from food and beverage to slots and table games.
Represented by the Detroit Casino Council (DCC), workers have expressed disillusionment, asserting that casino management has failed to grant fair contracts. Issues of discord range from wagediscrepancies and healthcare to retirement security and technology language. Other points of contention include equitable workload distribution for housekeeping staff.
Back-and-forth negotiations have persisted, and strike action has received overwhelming approval from workers. For nearly a month, the DCC and casinos have been grappling to solidify a new contract that caters to around 3,700 employees. The DCC membership spans across local branches of Unite Here, UAW, Teamsters, Operating Engineers, and the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters.
The previous five-year union contract was extended for another three years before its expiration. Union representatives have emphasised workers’ grievances, emphasising the challenging conditions faced since the onset of the pandemic. Casino revenues, however, according to the DCC, have rebounded and surpassed pre-pandemic figures, achieving unprecedented elevations.
Detroit’s casinos, it is reported, could incur substantial losses if the strike progresses. Potential losses include $1.7 million per day at MGM Grand Detroit, $1.1 million per day at MotorCity Casino, and around $652,000 per day at Hollywood Casino at Greektown.
Two of the casinos in question, MotorCity Casino Hotel and Hollywood Casino at Greektown, publicly addressed the negotiation deadlock, expressing commitment towards mutually beneficial resolutions. MGM Resorts International echoed a similar stance, with reassurances of continuous engagement with the DCC to reach an equitable solution.
Strikes aren’t a foreign concept in the area, with the United Auto Workers members leading the way with ongoing industrial action. A similar trend has emerged in Las Vegas, where the Culinary and Bartenders Union is considering strike action should ongoing negotiations with casino operators fail.