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Tentative Agreement Reached Between Unions and Detroit Casinos

Organizers say they’ve negotiated the largest wage increase for workers in the history of the city’s casino industry

Picketing workers outside of MotorCity Casino on October 17, 2023, the first day of a month-long strike among casino workers in Detroit, Michigan.
Picketing workers outside of MotorCity Casino on October 17, 2023, the first day of a month-long strike among casino workers
Serena Maria Daniels
Serena Maria Daniels is the editor for Eater Detroit.

A tentative agreement has been reached on Friday, November 17, with Detroit’s three casinos and the 3,700 workers who’ve been on strike for exactly one month in a fight for what labor organizers call the largest wage increase negotiated in the history of the city’s casino industry.

Striking workers — who include dealers, housekeepers, food and beverage employees, valets, and engineers — will remain on the picket lines outside of MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino, and Hollywood Casino at Greektown until the Detroit Casino Council ratifies the proposed settlement. The council is made up of members of five unions: UNITE HERE Local 24, the United Auto Workers, Teamsters Local 1038, Operating Engineers Local 324, and the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters.

Once the proposed five-year contract is ratified, workers will see an immediate 18 percent pay raise on average, as well as no health care cost increases for employees. The contract also includes workload reductions, job security and technology language that already exists in other casino markets, retirement increases, and more. Workers began striking on October 17, following what they called years of sacrifices made to help the hospitality and gaming industry stay afloat during the pandemic.

As of Friday, further details about the new union collective bargaining agreement were not released until workers have had a chance to review the terms of the proposed settlement. Detroit Casino Council members are expected to vote on ratifying the contract soon, though no date has been announced.

“Our strike showed the casino industry and the world just what Detroit’s casino workers are made of,” said Tavera McCree, a valet cashier at Hollywood Casino at Greektown and a member of Teamsters Local 1038, in a written statement issued Friday. “This is a defining moment for workers in Detroit and nationwide. The gains we have made will change the lives of so many families who are living paycheck to paycheck.”

Throughout the strike, Detroit’s three casinos remained opened, though the casinos reported temporary closures and loss of revenue.

The three casinos issued a joint statement Friday afternoon in response to the announcement.

“We’re pleased to have reached a tentative agreement with the DCC on a new contract that ends the strike while giving a historic pay increase to our DCC-represented employees,” said Matt Buckley, president and chief operating officers for MGM Resorts International, Midwest Group.

“We are thrilled that a tentative agreement has been reached, marking a positive step forward in our union negotiations with the Detroit Casino Council,” said Bruce Dall, president of MotorCity Casino Hotel. “We take pride in providing exceptional jobs and benefits that support and reward our dedicated workforce, and we look forward to ratification of the deal.”

“We are happy that a mutually beneficial agreement was reached that positively positions our team members and business for success well into the future,” added John Drake, vice president and general manager of Hollywood Casino at Greektown. “We appreciate the productive and respectful negotiations with the DCC and are eager to welcome back our team members as soon as possible.”

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.