Striking Detroit Casino Workers Continue Protest, Appeal for Public Solidarity


Posted on: October 31, 2023, 01:24h. 

Last updated on: November 1, 2023, 05:37h.

Approximately 3,700 unionized workers have commenced the third week of a strike at Detroit’s three gaming properties. However, striking workers have disclosed that the union and management are nearing an agreement in interviews with Michigan radio station WSJM.

Detroit casino workers on strike
Detroit casino workers on strike, pictured above. The work stoppage is now in its third week. (Image: WDET)

Casino officials assert they have made generous offers to the workers. Nevertheless, the strike officially entered its third week at noon on Tuesday.

On Monday, picketing workers donned Lions’ uniforms in an effort to dissuade Detroit Lions fans from crossing their line, as reported by the Detroit News. Additionally, the Detroit Casino Council, the union representing the casino workers, urged pro football fans not to enter the casinos.

We want them to enjoy the game. Just don’t gamble, Patricia White, a food worker at Hollywood Casino at Greektown, told the News. She was wearing a hooded Lions’ jacket while walking the picket line.

The union has listed various concerns still unresolved, including salaries not keeping up with inflation, inadequate retirement pay, and job security amidst advancing technology.

Hubert Bowden, a former slots attendant turned poker dealer, indicated struggling to meet his financial obligations.

The cost of living has risen. It makes our bills overwhelming, Bowden informed the Detroit News.

The Detroit Casino Council comprises the UAW, Unite Here Local 24, Teamsters Local 1038, Operating Engineers Local 324, and the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters.

Casinos Continue to Limit Services

Hollywood Casino at Greektown, MGM Grand Detroit, and MotorCity Casino are still operating during the work stoppage that commenced on October 17. However, they have scaled back their offerings in response.

MotorCity has reduced high-limit table games, first-floor slots, and the poker room. Certain restaurants, bars, and the valet area are temporarily closed. MGM Grand Detroit has closed its hotel and casino valet services for the time being. Hollywood Casino at Greektown has temporarily closed its valet and may have limited restaurant hours and beverage service.

Strike Possible in Las Vegas

In Las Vegas, 95% of Culinary Union workers have authorized a strike at gaming properties.

Approximately 40,000 of the union’s 60,000 members are currently working without a contract. Salary, workload, and job security are among the unresolved issues, with union workers continuing negotiations.

Last Wednesday, approximately 75 Culinary Union members and officials were arrested after obstructing traffic on Las Vegas Boulevard, as part of their efforts to draw attention to their ongoing labor dispute.

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