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MGM Casino Strike in Detroit Shows No Signs of Resolution

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In Michigan, the workers strike at MGM Grand Detroit has entered its sixth week. The strike, initiated on October 17 by thousands of workers from three Detroit casinos—MotorCity Casino, Hollywood Casino at Greektown, and MGM Grand Detroit—aims to secure improved wages and benefits. While MotorCity Casino and Hollywood Casino at Greektown reached agreements, leading to the return of workers, the strike at MGM Grand Detroit persists.

No End in Sight

Union representatives reported on Wednesday that negotiations had resumed with MGM Grand Detroit, involving federal mediators. Despite efforts to reach a new deal after the rejection of a tentative agreement by union members, no resolution was achieved by the end of the day. Both parties are set to reconvene at the negotiation table on Thursday.

Related: Detroit Casino Strike Lingers as MGM Refuses to Concede

Earlier this month, the Detroit Casino Council and casino workers announced a "historic" deal. The agreement, described as groundbreaking, includes substantial wage increases and benefits aimed at addressing the widening cost-of-living gap experienced by workers in recent years.

Workers at MotorCity Casino and Hollywood Casino agreed to the terms. Those at MGM Grand, however, refused to take the deal.

The Detroit Casino Council, representing unionized casino workers from various unions, did not initially disclose the reasons for MGM employees rejecting the tentative agreement. The council emphasized that unionized workers at each of the three Detroit properties voted separately, and additional bargaining dates would be scheduled.

Biggest Deal Ever

Throughout months of negotiations, the strike was triggered by disagreements between unionized Detroit casino workers and companies over healthcare costs and wages. The industry's rebound from pandemic challenges heightened the significance of these issues. Approximately 3,700 workers participated in the strike.

The terms involve the "largest wage increases ever negotiated in the Detroit casino industry's 23-year history," featuring an immediate 18% pay raise on average. The agreement also safeguards employees from healthcare cost increases, includes workload reductions, job protections, first-ever technology contract language, retirement increases and more.

The strike's impact has been significant, with officials warning of potential consequences for the casinos, the city of Detroit, and the state of Michigan. Daily estimates indicated risks of approximately $738,000 in city and state tax revenues and $3.4 million in casino operator revenues. The ongoing strike underscores the challenges and tensions within the casino industry as workers advocate for improved conditions in the post-pandemic era.

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