Detroit casino workers strike in latest labor strife in Michigan

(Unite Here via Facebook)

By Associated Press

October 18, 2023

DETROIT—Workers at Detroit’s three casinos went on strike Tuesday, the latest major labor dispute in Michigan and one that follows a partial walkout at auto companies.

Unions represent 3,700 people, including dealers, cleaning staff, valets and food staff. The casinos—MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino and Hollywood Casino at Greektown—pledged to stay open.

“We will take whatever lawful action is necessary to fill shifts and continue providing our customers with entertainment and service,” Matt Buckley, president and chief operating officer of MGM Resorts Midwest Group, said in a letter to employees.

Unions said they’re concerned about health insurance and job security.

“These companies are making more than ever, and it’s time they respect us for all the sacrifices we made to keep the doors open during the pandemic,” said Terri Sykes, a dealer at MotorCity Casino and president of United Auto Workers Local 7777.

The unions said casino workers have received only 3% raises since a three-year contract extension in 2020.

The three Detroit casinos reported $1.27 billion in revenue in 2022, with 77% coming from slot machines, according to the Michigan Gaming Control Board. The city of Detroit received $155 million.

Meanwhile, the UAW is in the fifth week of a partial strike against General Motors, Ford Motor and Stellantis. More than 1,000 people are on strike at health insurer Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

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