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Detroit casino workers vote to authorize strike

CBS News Detroit Digital Brief for Sept. 28, 2023
CBS News Detroit Digital Brief for Sept. 28, 2023 02:12

(CBS DETROIT) - The Detroit Casino Council announced that workers at MGM Grand Detroit, Hollywood at Greektown, and MotorCity casinos voted in favor of authorizing a strike if necessary when their contracts expire next month.

The council says 99% of members voted in favor on Friday. The decision to strike would be made by the council, which is comprised of UNITE HERE Local 24, UAW, Teamster Local 1038, Operating Engineers Local 32, and the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters.

The council could call a strike as soon as mid-October when contracts expire, according to a press release.

Workers are currently under a three-year contract extension. They have been negotiating with the casinos since early September with hopes of wage increases, strengthening retirement, and securing protection for workers impacted by the implementation of new technology.

"Workers are fed up in an economy that is broken: costs keep going up, but when profits came back to the gaming industry, they didn't go into workers' pockets," said Nia Winston, UNITE HERE Local 24 president, in a statement. "Just like auto workers, Blue Cross Blue Shield staff, UPS workers, writers, and hotel workers, Detroit casino workers are considering all options available to make sure one job in a Detroit casino is enough to raise a family on. We expect the casinos to heed our concerns to avoid a strike."

This comes as thousands of United Auto Workers are on strike amid contract negotiations with Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis. More than 40 auto plants across the country have been called to stand and strike by UAW President Shawn Fain since Sept. 15.

On Friday, Fain called on GM's Lansing Delta Assembly and Ford's Chicago Assembly Plant, bringing the total of striking workers to about 25,000.

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