A labor deal between Detroit, Michigan‘s three casinos and the Detroit Casino Council was reached late on Sunday. Approximately 7,000 workers will be covered by the new contract.
Negotiations between the city’s three casinos; Greektown Casino, MotorCity and MGM Grand Detroit, and the Detroit Casino Council, a consortium of four unions, began on December 1st and have continued every day since. While the talks have resulted in a tentative agreement, workers still need to approve the contract in a ratification vote.
In recent days of negotiating the Detroit Casino Council has provided Union members with updates including the key issues that were part of final negotiations, health care, wage increases and bonuses.
City leaders in Detroit have been closely monitoring the negotiations between the labor unions and the casinos because of the region’s intense competition for the gaming dollar and the vast revenue at stake. Not only are the city’s casinos a tourist draw, but they are a major employer in Detroit, and one of the biggest tax contributors. Approximately 16% of the total revenue of the City of Detroit is represented by taxes from casino gaming. That’s almost $3.3 million a week, totaling $170 million annually.
According to the Detroit Free Press, the media outlet received an email from Unite Here Local 24’s president Joe Daugherty on Sunday evening indicating that an agreement had been reached. According to Daugherty, informational meetings will be held this week at which time the details of the contract will be provided to union members. The Union president also indicated that workers would be updated with details of the new agreement on Monday morning. As of late Sunday there had been no comment from any of the three casinos.
The existing labor contract expired on October 16th and negotiations for a new contract began in August. No progress had been made since talks began again in November, the first since October 30th. In November, after four days of meetings, the Detroit Casino Council had indicated that important progress has been made, especially in the area of health care.
UAW Local 7777 had previously voted to authorize a strike if an agreement couldn’t be reached by the two sides. A proposal introduced by Detroit’s three gambling venues last month was rejected by casino employees. More than 6,000 members of the UAW Local 7777, UNITE HERE Local 24, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 324, and Local 372 labor unions and Teamsters are represented by the Detroit Casino Council.