MGM Grand Detroit poker resumes full services after casino strike ends

Haley Hintze
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Posted on: December 14, 2023 7:03 am EST

MGM Grand Detroit’s 14-table poker room has returned to around-the-clock operations after the casino’s striking workers ratified a new five-year labor agreement earlier this month. The room had been temporarily shuttered during what was a record 47-day walkout, although most services at the casino continued despite the labor shortages.

The MGM Grand Detroit strike was the last to be resolved of three labor strikes against Detroit casinos that began in October. Workers at the other two properties, MotorCity Casino and Hollywood Casino at Greektown, approved a new labor deal last month, though MGM Grand Detroit’s union members rejected a roughly similar deal by a wide margin at the same time.

The return of MGM Grand Detroit’s poker room to active service restores the availability of live poker across the Detroit metro area to earlier levels, even though widespread rumors cite the relatively low-traffic MotorCity Casino as planning on closing its poker room and converting the space to additional slots.

Five-year deal includes immediate 18 percent raise

The Detroit Casino Council, which unites the interests of five casino-union groups, stated that the new deal will provide the largest-ever pay increases for covered MGM Grand Detroit workers. The deal includes an immediate 18% hike in wages on average for the union’s roughly 1,700 workers at Grand Detroit.

Another cumulative $5/hour in wage increases will be awarded to workers over the life of the new agreement. Among other terms won by the striking workers were no increases in premiums for the union workers’ health-insurance coverage, and reduced workloads for housekeepers and other worker categories, to restore more equilibrium for a casino staffing pullback that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am happy to announce that MGM employees ratified their contract tonight. I am impressed by how all the unions and members worked together to win an excellent contract. I’m looking forward to going back to work,” said Patrick Nichols, a dealer at MGM Grand Detroit and member of UAW Local 7777, one of the five unions the Detroit Casino Council also represents.

Featured image source: MGM Grand Detroit