MGM Reports ‘Productive Meetings’ With Detroit Casino Workers As Strike Looms

Written By Drew Ellis on October 2, 2023 - Last Updated on October 24, 2023
Drawing of an office meeting for story on MGM Grand Detroit having

One of the three Detroit retail casinos has given their thoughts on the casino workers voting to authorize a strike later this month.

MGM Resorts International owns the MGM Grand Detroit. The company believes productive negotiation meetings have taken place with the Detroit Casino Council.

Notably, the five unions that make up the DCC have given authorization to strike if a new contract is not agreed upon between the casinos and works by Oct. 16.

DETROIT CASINO STRIKE UPDATES AS THEY BREAK:

MGM Grand Detroit having ‘productive meetings’ with DCC

Specifically, workers for the MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino and Hollywood Casino at Greektown are all part of the Detroit Casino Council. A potential strike would have a great impact on the city’s gambling industry should it reach that point.

Though, MGM Resorts remains positive a new deal will be reached.

“MGM Resorts has a long history of bargaining successfully with the Detroit Casino Council,” Dara Cohen of MGM Resorts International told PlayMichigan via email. “We continue to have productive meetings with the union and believe both parties are committed to negotiating a contract that is good for everyone.”

The DCC is negotiating with all three casinos on new labor agreements.

And, the five unions that make up the DCC are:

  • UNITE HERE Local 24
  • UAW
  • Teamsters Local 1038
  • Operating Engineers Local 324
  • Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters

On Friday, a union workers vote was held and 99% voted “yes” to authorize the strike if a new deal is not reached.

“This vote shows the power of the Teamsters and our brothers and sisters in the casino industry,” said Tommy Blitsch, Director of the Teamsters Convention, Trade Show, and Casino Division, in a release. “We are prepared to get the strong agreement our members deserve.”

Specifically, workers are seeking wage increases, retirement security and job protection from the implementation of technology.

Detroit casinos are up in gaming revenue for 2023 by nearly 1% through the first eight months of the year. They have collected $853.7 million in revenue between the three locations.

Union workers vote nearly unanimously to authorize strike

Notably, the vote held last Friday was not a vote to go on strike or a guarantee that a strike will occur.

It is simply the union workers giving authorization to their leadership to implement a strike if they feel it is necessary come Oct. 16.

Further, the authorization vote is part of the negotiating process. And. the three casinos remain committed to meeting with the union in the days ahead to reach an agreement that works for both parties.

“Detroit’s casino workers of the Detroit Casino Council voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike (Friday) because we’re the people who worked with the companies through COVID and put in the time, energy, hard work,” said Terri Sykes, UAW Local 7777 President, MotorCity Casino table games, in a release.

“The casino companies are making more than their fair share. But we’re not making ours. The message our members are sending to these companies is that the casino workers at MGM Grand, MotorCity and Hollywood at Greektown are ready to stand together and fight for what we deserve. I’m proud of my coworkers for taking this step to take care of their families and enjoy their lives.”

Also, representatives from MGM Resorts and the MGM Grand Detroit feel they have had productive meetings at the main table, small table and in subcommittees with the union to this point. And, they also feel they have made good progress toward a new labor agreement.

Both sides are seeking solutions that will help the negotiations move forward in hopes of avoiding a strike.

PlayMichigan will keep you updated on this situation as more news develops in the days ahead.

Photo by Shutterstock
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Drew Ellis

Drew Ellis is the Lead Writer of PlayMichigan, the No. 1 source for online gambling news in Michigan. A lifelong resident of the state, Ellis has been working in various forms of media since 1998, including more than a decade in the sports betting industry prior to transitioning into US casino markets in 2020.

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