Employees from MGM Grand Detroit Casino have begun returning to work this week after voting in favor of ratifying a new labor contract — putting an end to 47 days on strike. Some 2,100 workers from Hollywood Casino at Greektown and MotorCity Casino approved their contract on November 19.
A news release issued over the weekend by the Detroit Casino Council — the body made up of members of five unions representing 3,700 casino workers — says that the 1,700 employees at MGM Grand approved a five-year agreement, which includes an immediate 18 percent raise on average, a bonus, no health care cost increases, reductions in workload, and other job protections. Upon approval, workers are to receive an immediate $3 an hour raise and $5 an hour in total raises over the life of the contract. MGM Grand Casino workers rejected a deal and continued picketing until they could reach a settlement with management.
“Both my son and I have been on strike together, so for me the fight to protect our healthcare and win better wages was always about something bigger for my family and the next generation,” said longtime guest room attendant and a member of UNITE HERE Local 24 member Alicia Weaver in the statement, who previously told Eater that she was among the first wave of workers to be hired at MGM in 1999, a year after casinos were legalized in the city. “Together — with the rest of our MGM family who stood with us on that picket line in the rain and frigid temperatures — we made history, and I’m proud of what we accomplished by taking a stand together.”
Says valet worker and Teamsters Local 1038 Gabriel Robert Hernandez in the statement: “Since welcoming my son into the world, securing my family’s health care benefits was the most important thing to me. We sacrificed a lot during the pandemic, but we fought for and ultimately won a contract that secures our health care and provides significantly improved wages.”
In a statement issued Tuesday to Eater, Matt Buckley, President and COO, Midwest Group, MGM Resorts International says the end of the strike allows for the casino to resume full operations. During the strike, the casinos reduced service or cut hours to account for the loss of workers to the picket line.
“We’re excited to welcome our team back and continue providing our guests the entertainment experiences for which MGM Grand Detroit is known,” says Buckley.