MGM Grand workers ratify new contract, end casino strike
Two weeks after Hollywood Casino at Greektown and MotorCity Casino ratified a new contract, workers at MGM Grand Detroit have followed suit, officially ending the Detroit casino strike.
Union members with the Detroit Casino Council voted Saturday to ratify a new contract with MGM after 47 days on strike, the council announced in a news release. The five-year agreement, which covers 1,700 employees, includes the largest wage increases ever for MGM Grand Detroit workers. Upon ratification, workers will receive an immediate $3 an hour raise and $5 more per hour total over the life of the contract.
The contract also includes:
- No increased costs or plan changes for health care
- Reducing workloads in housekeeping
- Securing first-ever technology protections to guarantee advanced notification when new technology is introduced that impacts jobs and provide health care and severance pay for workers laid off because of new technology
- An option for a bonus up front or within the second year of the contract
- First-ever 401K match option up to $1000
- Paid Juneteenth Holiday
Matt Buckley, president and COO of Midwest Group, which represents MGM Resorts International, said the vote of DCC-represented employees to ratify the 64-month contract and end the strike allows MGM to resume full and normal operations.
“We’re excited to welcome our team back and continue providing our guests the entertainment experiences for which MGM Grand Detroit is known,” Buckley said.
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However, MGM dealer Arup Baidya, 38, is disappointed with the new deal, saying there’s not much of a change from the last contract workers voted on. The only new thing is the bonus option, which Baidya said totals $2,000. But after taxes, the amount will probably be around $1,200, he said.
The Madison Heights resident also wishes that the wage increase was higher. With the $3 raise, a dealer can make around $15 an hour, but it’s still not enough to keep up with inflation, Baidya said.
“Everything is so high, but something is better than nothing,” he said.
As Baidya returns to work Monday, he said he’ll now be able to catch up on bills that he couldn’t pay during the strike and take care of his two daughters.
“I am ready for Christmas and to go back to work,” he said.
About 3,700 dealers, servers, bartenders, valets and other workers from all three casinos went on strike Oct. 17, marking the first time the properties participated in a walkout since they opened in 1999 and 2000. For almost two months, workers were on the picket lines, demanding better pay and benefits, as well as retirement security and a reduction in workloads that increased following pandemic-related job cuts.
On Nov. 19, Hollywood and MotorCity casinos came to an agreement on their new contracts, which also included a $3 an hour raise and $5 an hour total raises over the life of the contract.
“Both my son and I have been on strike together, so for me the fight to protect our healthcare and win better wages was always about something bigger for my family and the next generation,” said MGM guest room attendant Alicia Weaver in the news release. “Together – with the rest of our MGM family who stood with us on that picket line in the rain and frigid temperatures – we made history, and I’m proud of what we accomplished by taking a stand together.”
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