Detroit City Council stands by casino workers on strike

October 25, 2023
By

The council approved a resolution in support of the workers on Tuesday.

The ongoing strike by 3,700 workers from Detroit’s three casinos: MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino and Hollywood Casino at Greektown, has received support from the Detroit City Council.

The workers walked off the job last week with contract issues relating to healthcare, wage increases, workload standards and job security.

On Tuesday, there was a unanimous vote, where the council approved a resolution, supporting the workers on strike, after more than 700 of the workers streamed into the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, into Spirit Plaza, wearing blue T-shirts that read “Detroit Casino Council Solidarity,” asking for the council’s support.

Councilmember Young told the crowd: "For them to be making the billion dollars they are making, how dare we not pay the workers what they have earned?"

Workers agreed to a three-year contract extension in September 2020 with only minimal wage increases, to help the industry get back on its feet and since then the workers have received 3% raises, noting that inflation in Detroit has also risen.

Gaming revenue at Detroit’s casinos has surpassed pre-pandemic levels and last year they generated a record $2.27bn in gaming revenue and this year, they are similarly on course, for another record-breaking year.

Casinos are key for Detroit, as the three of them generate $450,000 a day in wagering taxes and according to city financial documents the casin’s make up for the city’s third-largest source of tax revenue, while there is also a loss of income tax from striking workers, with income tax standing as Detroit’s largest source of tax revenue.

All three casinos and their adjacent hotels remain open as usual but their websites state that some services are currently not available.

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