detroit — Approximately 2,100 workers at MotorCity Casino and Hollywood Casino in Greektown voted to ratify a new contract, ending a 34-day strike at the two properties. But those at the MGM Grand Casino rejected the proposal and continue on strike.
The workers are members of the Detroit Casino Council, a union that represents 3,700 employees at Detroit’s three casinos. Members of each casino voted separately on the offer. Those who voted to ratify the five-year contract will receive an immediate raise of $3 an hour and a total raise of $5 an hour over the course of the contract, according to the union.
The ratified contract also includes workload reductions, technology protections, a 401(k) employer match program and no increase in health care costs.
Members of the Detroit Casino Council left their positions on October 17 after negotiations to reach new contracts failed. The strike followed increased workloads during the COVID-19 pandemic and rising inflation, the council said in a news release. Workers, including distributors, housekeeping staff, food and beverage staff, valets and engineers, sought wage increases, labor and healthcare protections and reduced workloads.
The immediate increase, which represents an average of 18% for workers, is “the largest wage increase ever negotiated in the history of the Detroit casino industry,” according to a statement from the council.
The contract ratified by union members at the Greektown and MGM casinos also includes technology protections that ensure workers will receive advance notice when new technology is introduced that affects jobs. Under the new contract, training is also required for new jobs created by the technology, as well as healthcare and severance pay for employees laid off as a result of the new technology.
The Detroit Casino Council is made up of five unions: UAW, Unite Here Local 24, Teamsters Local 1038, Operating Engineers Local 324 and the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters. The council announced that a tentative agreement had been reached on Friday.
John Drake, vice president and general manager of Hollywood Casino in Greektown, said the casinos appreciate “the productive and respectful negotiations with the DCC and look forward to welcoming our team members back as soon as possible.”
Since MGM employees did not ratify the contract, they will continue to strike. Matt Buckley, president and chief operating officer of MGM Resorts Midwest Group, called this a “very disappointing result.”
“Every employee voted for the exact same contract, which DCC itself said was ‘a historic investment in Detroit’s future,'” Buckley said in a letter to employees. “It is disappointing that our employees represented by DCC would vote to reject a contract that the general majority has approved.”
More than 600 MGM union members voted “yes” to the proposed contract, according to Buckley’s statement. The casino will remain open and operational, despite the ongoing strike.