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Union workers at two Detroit casinos ratify new contracts, MGM Grand workers reject proposed agreement

Briana Rice
Michigan Radio

UPDATED at 7:30 on 11/20/23

Members of the Detroit Casino Council have voted to ratify new five-year contracts with MotorCity Casino and Hollywood Casino at Greektown after 34 days on strike.

Union workers at MGM Grand Detroit voted to reject the agreement, and workers there will continue to strike. According to a union news release, the casino and the union will schedule more bargaining dates.

MGM Grand did not immediately comment after the vote tallies were announced Sunday night.

The council said the agreement includes the largest wage increases ever negotiated in the Detroit casino industry’s 23-year history, including an immediate 18% pay raise on average.

The council said the contract also includes no health care cost increases for employees, workload reductions, especially for housekeeping staff, and increases for the first time in eight years in employer retirement plan contributions.

The deal also provides for severance pay and temporary health care coverage for workers laid off due to casinos' reliance on new technology, such as automated hotel check-ins, which can reduce the need for some employees.

A ratification vote by the membership will be scheduled soon with all five unions that comprise the Detroit Casino Council.

"The historic agreements come after years of hardship that Detroit casino workers have endured after sacrificing raises and shouldering heavier workloads so the industry could stay open during the pandemic," the council said in a statement. "Since that time, Detroit’s gaming industry revenues have hit record highs."

Casino officials said they were pleased to have reached the tentative agreement with the council and look forward to welcoming back team members as soon as possible.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story reported 2800 workers were represented by the unions. The correct number is 2100.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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