Detroit casino workers overwhelmingly approve strike authorization

Union members from Detroit’s three casinos have voted with 99% approval to authorize a strike if necessary, as the union negotiates for higher wages. This comes as the casinos' revenues have surpassed pre-pandemic levels and workers seek to bring their jobs in line with promised standards. Discover the implications of this vote and what it means for the Detroit casino industry.

Overwhelming Vote for Strike Authorization

Union members from Detroit’s three casinos vote with 99% approval to authorize a strike.

Workers at Detroit’s three casinos have spoken loud and clear, voting overwhelmingly to authorize a strike if necessary. With a resounding 99% approval, this vote sends a powerful message to the casinos and the industry as a whole.

The union members cast their votes at the Teamsters Hall throughout the day, with the results being released shortly after the polls closed. This decisive vote paves the way for potential strikes as early as mid-October when contracts expire.

Demand for Higher Wages

Workers seek higher wages to bring their jobs in line with promised standards.

The Detroit Casino Council has been negotiating with the casinos since early September, with a primary focus on securing higher wages for the workers. The council notes that the gaming industry has seen a resurgence in revenue following the end of COVID restrictions and the legalization of online gaming.

Workers are demanding contract gains that would bring their jobs back in line with the standard of good jobs that were promised when casino gaming was legalized in 1996. They believe that the casinos should share their profits and ensure that one job in a Detroit casino is enough to raise a family on.

Addressing Retirement and Technological Changes

Workers also prioritize stronger retirement benefits and protections in the face of technological advancements.

In addition to higher wages, workers are also focused on securing stronger retirement benefits and protections. With the advancement of technology in the industry, they want to ensure that workers affected by these changes are adequately supported.

The Detroit Casino Council worker negotiating committee, made up of various unions representing the majority of casino workers, is pushing for comprehensive retirement plans and safeguards against job displacement due to technological advancements.

Revenues Surpass Pre-Pandemic Levels

The Detroit casino industry has seen a resurgence in revenues, surpassing pre-pandemic levels.

The Detroit Casino Council's push for higher wages comes at a time when the industry has experienced a significant rebound in revenues. Following the end of COVID restrictions and the legalization of online gaming, gaming revenues have exceeded pre-pandemic levels.

According to the Michigan Gaming Control Board, the three Detroit casinos reported $104.9 million in monthly aggregate revenue for August 2023, a slight increase compared to the previous year. This resurgence in revenue further emphasizes the workers' demands for fair compensation.

A Call for Fairness and Recognition

Workers express their frustration with an economy that fails to adequately compensate them for their contributions.

Detroit's casino workers are expressing their frustration with an economy that often leaves them behind. Despite the gaming industry's recovery and increased profits, workers feel that their contributions have not been adequately recognized.

They draw parallels to other industries where workers have fought for fair compensation, such as auto workers, hotel workers, and more. Detroit casino workers are considering all options available to ensure that their jobs provide enough to support their families and meet their financial needs.

Conclusion

The overwhelming vote by Detroit casino workers to authorize a strike sends a clear message that they are determined to secure fair wages and benefits. With revenues surpassing pre-pandemic levels, workers believe it is time for their contributions to be recognized and adequately compensated.

As negotiations continue, the Detroit Casino Council is advocating for higher wages, stronger retirement benefits, and protections against technological changes. The industry's resurgence in revenue further highlights the workers' demands for fair treatment.

Detroit's casino workers are standing up for their rights and seeking to bring their jobs back in line with the standards that were promised when casino gaming was legalized. The outcome of these negotiations will have a significant impact on the future of the Detroit casino industry.

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