CasinosJungle > News > Casino Workers Strike Continues to Hit Detroit

Casino Workers Strike Continues to Hit Detroit

Penny November 8, 2023

The casino industry in the United States has been rocked throughout 2023. In particular, the striking of its key workers has been a big part of a difficult year. Las Vegas was the first city to see strike action that had the potential to bring the biggest casinos in the world to its knees. And now it appears that other parts of the country are joining in solidarity and pushing the biggest employers in the industry for fairer wages and benefits. With growing support for these workers, it looks like there is no slowing down in the movement toward a new landscape for employees in the leading casinos. Could this latest action be the moment that sees that change?

Detroit Casino Strike

Better Pay and New Contracts on the Agenda

After staff from Vegas casinos decided to strike for better conditions on their new contracts, it quickly set in motion a snowball effect that has been felt across the country. In Detroit, now, the movement is gathering pace. According to The Detroit News, the workers’ union is holding its own in negotiations with the three casinos in the area and refusing to back down in the face of what it sees as derisory concessions on the casino companies’ behalf. The Detroit Casino Council is continuing to fight on behalf of its members and a video released by the group has claimed that they are continuing to stand their ground as they look to achieve the goals initially set out for workers. That includes reduced healthcare premiums and an increase in hourly wages for the 3,700 workers who downed tools and formed a picket in October of 2023. It claims that the hierarchies at the casinos have made offers that are yet to meet the demands laid out by the members.


When deciding to strike, the workers affected requested that healthcare premium costs be written off from a potential level of $60. On top of that, an hourly wage increase of more than $3 has been demanded to keep up with the record levels of inflation that the US has seen in recent years. As it stands, the companies have made small concessions which have yet to be accepted by the group and it looks likely that more will need to be done to meet the demands set at the beginning of negotiations. Currently, the healthcare premium cost has been proposed as dropping to $40, which the union sees as being untenable. Further, the wage increase has been offered at $1.95 an hour. It’s clear then that there is some distance between what workers want and what management is willing to deliver. However, pressure is fast building as more and more of the public join the striking workers and lend their support to the cause. With this, the moneymen will likely be returning to the drawing board to try and come to an agreement with the leaders of the union.


Support Building for Workers on Strike

The casino staff striking for better conditions are not the only group looking to put pressure on their employers in Detroit. Alongside them stand workers from Blue Cross Blue Shield are forming a picket and this coalition is building a groundswell of support amongst the wider public. CBS News reports that a donation drive is being run to help raise funds for those struggling while on the picket. Workers taking part in the strike action are receiving just $500 a week as they battle with the casinos, representing a significant loss in earnings in an area with an average monthly rent of over $1,000. The donations from the public will help support those struggling with everyday costs as they look for an increase in wages and a drop in liabilities for benefits. That the citizens of Detroit are putting their own money into the pockets of the most in need on the picket indicates that the strikes retain the support of the city at large.


At this moment in time, it looks unlikely that the strike will end in the near future. Given that the Las Vegas workers are also looking to strike at a time when the Formula One Grand Prix rolls into town, it’s clear that the tide appears to be changing in favor of those working in the country’s casinos. The balance of power seems to be shifting towards staff as strike action continues to be the go-to method for negotiations, especially in the casino industry. Time will tell what the outcome will be but it seems likely that it could usher in a new era for workers in the States.

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