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Thousands of Detroit casino workers threaten to go on strike on Tuesday


© FILE PHOTO: An exterior view of MGM Grand hotel and casino, after MGM Resorts shut down some computer systems due to a cyber attack in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., September 13, 2023. REUTERS/Bridget Bennett/File Photo

() -About 3,700 Detroit casino workers are set to strike on Tuesday noon, if a contract deal is not reached, the Detroit Casino Council (DCC) said on Monday.

A strike will hit operations at MGM Grand Detroit operated by MGM Resorts (NYSE:) International, MotorCity Casino and Hollywood Casino at Greektown operated by Penn Entertainment.

On Sept. 29, 99% of voting workers from all unionized groups at the three Detroit casinos voted to authorize the DCC negotiating committee to call a strike.

Negotiations, which began in the summer, have not yielded a contract that increases wages to keep up with inflation and improves healthcare and retirement benefits.

When casinos struggled during the pandemic, the DCC in 2020 agreed to a three-year contract extension with 3% annual raises but inflation in Detroit has risen 20% since then, according to a statement on Monday from the DCC.

Industry gaming revenues have since surpassed pre-pandemic levels, with the Detroit casino industry generating $2.27 billion in 2022, as per the negotiating committee.

The DCC estimates that if workers are forced to strike at the three casinos, it could put at risk $3.4 million in operator revenue per day, with the highest impact to MGM Grand Detroit at $1.7 million.

The Detroit Casino Council is a negotiating committee made up of five unions including Unite Here Local 24, the UAW, Teamsters Local 1038, Operating Engineers Local 324, and the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters.

Unions across a range of industries in the U.S. such as rail, healthcare have bargained for higher wages and benefits in a tight labor market and a high inflationary environment.

The Detroit strike announcement comes as 40,000 Las Vegas hospitality workers employed at casinos operated by MGM, Caesars (NASDAQ:) Entertainment and Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:) are engaged in talks for higher wages and benefits.

The Culinary Workers and Bartenders Unions held a picket at Vegas properties of MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment last Thursday. They have not yet announced a strike deadline.

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