November 21, 2023 2 min read


MGM Grand Detroit Workers Reject Labor Contract And Continue Strike

The decision by MGM Grand workers to reject the proposal prompts inquiries, yet the Detroit Casino Council chose not to divulge the precise reasons for their stance

The strike by unionized casino workers at MGM Grand Detroit continues after they rejected a tentative five-year labor contract. The decision stands in contrast to the resolution reached at MotorCity Casino and Hollywood Casino at Greektown, where workers overwhelmingly approved the proposed agreements, ending their 34-day strike.

Detroit Casino Council Faces Scrutiny as MGM Grand Workers Decline Tentative Agreement

The Detroit Casino Council, representing five unions, had brokered a tentative deal on November 17 to cover 3,700 workers across the three casinos. While the rejection by MGM Grand workers raises questions, the council refrained from disclosing specific reasons behind the decision.

Wendy Abraham, a union member and dealer at MGM Grand Detroit, expressed apprehension about the extended 64-month contract, stating that she had reservations, believing it to be excessively long, reported WMYD Detroit. Another significant issue for several individuals involved the suggested upfront pay raise of $3 per hour. Catherine Bilek Roberts, also affiliated with MGM, maintained that they should receive a minimum of $6 or $7 per hour in the initial year.

Notably, the rejection by MGM Grand workers has left them isolated, with MotorCity and Hollywood Casino employees returning to work. The broader context of labor struggles in Detroit sees parallels with ongoing strikes, such as those by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan workers.

MGM’s Strong Finances Clash with Detroit’s Casino Strike

The rejection carries significance against the backdrop of MGM Resorts International‘s robust financial performance, reporting net revenues of $4 billion in the third quarter, a 16% increase from the previous year. 

At the same time, the month-long strike has led to temporary closures and disruptions in services, impacting valet services and amenities at the affected casinos. The Michigan Gaming Control Board reported substantial revenue losses in October, ranging from $5 million to $7 million for each casino, resulting in an 18% drop in overall revenue compared to the previous month. 

The MGM casino management expressed disappointment at the rejection, with Matt Buckley, President & COO of MGM Resorts Midwest Group, calling the offer “historic” and emphasizing its potential benefits for employees and their families.

Buckley emphasized that the proposal comprised the most extensive wage hikes ever seen in the 23-year history of the Detroit casino industry. As the strike persists, the impact on Detroit and Michigan’s economy remains a concern, with projected daily losses of approximately $738,000 in city and state tax revenues and $3.4 million in casino operator revenues.


Silvia has dabbled in all sorts of writing – from content writing for social media to movie scripts. She has a Bachelor's in Screenwriting and experience in marketing and producing documentary films. With her background as a customer support agent within the gambling industry, she brings valuable insight to the Gambling News writers’ team.

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