Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

Solidarity with Detroit Casino Workers on Strike for First Time in History

Detroit casinos workers have made history by going on strike for the first time ever. The casino workers of Detroit do all the work that makes these incredibly profitable corporations run, and, like all workers, they deserve every penny of that profit and our full solidarity.

Facebook Twitter Share
Detroit casino workers on the picket line.

For nearly a month, the casino workers at Detroit’s three casinos, MGM Grand, Hollywood at Greektown, and MotorCity, have been on strike. This coincides with the strike wave that is happening in the Metro Detroit area, including workers at Blue Cross Blue Shield, and following the United Auto Workers (UAW) strike at the Big Three auto manufacturers who recently reached a Tentative Agreement (TA). The casino workers represented by Unite Here Local 24, UAW, Teamsters Local 1038, Operating Engineers Local 324, and Regional Council of Carpenters that make up The Detroit Casino Council (DCC) have demanded the following: a wage increase to keep with inflation, lowering the price of healthcare, and job security with the guarantee that the casinos won’t replace their jobs with technology before the contract is up.

The casinos have made tremendous profits over the years, despite the economic downturn caused by Covid-19. In 2022 the three casinos made $2.27 billion, their highest revenue in Detroit history. Despite these record profits, the workers only got a three percent wage increase while inflation in Detroit has risen to 20 percent. This means that any wage increase from their last contract has effectively been nullified.

The casino workers’ struggle has gained a lot of community support with many from other casinos on strike and other unions joining each other’s pickets. With momentum from the strike wave in Detroit, workers called for a boycott of major online casino betting sites which generate revenue for the casino on Monday, November 13.

Speaking with workers at MGM Grand, many are extremely grateful for the love and solidarity shown by the community and are hopeful that a successful strike will improve their living conditions. Many view working at the casino as a job where they can earn a comfortable living and build something to be proud of in Detroit. But workers on the picket are also scared of how long the strike is going to last as it stretches into the winter months, and $500 a week in strike pay is barely enough to cover their expenses. One striking worker said that they only just received permission to have fires outside for the pickets: “The police kept coming and taking the fire away. But it’s been getting so cold at night.” 

On November 7, hundreds of casino workers joined a Detroit City Council meeting to push a resolution created by casino workers called Detroit Striker’s Bill of Rights, part of which states that striking workers have a right to things like bonfires or electric heaters to stay warm outside their pickets. On Tuesday, November 14, the council supported this resolution, providing some comfort to workers on the picket lines.

The pressure is not only being felt by the workers at MGM grand on strike, it’s also being felt by the casino itself. Due to its decision to remain open during the strike, the casino has resorted to scabbing in order to remain operational with varying degrees of success. Without the backing of the workers who run the casino, management has been forced to work tables and deal — positions they are legally not allowed to perform, according to MGM’s gaming license. Furthermore the use of subcontracting scabs from across the region means that MGM and other casinos are in violation of the city’s rules that all at least half of the employees at Detroit area casinos must live in the city. 

The city of Detroit also has a vested interest in this contract fight as well. Casinos are its third biggest tax revenue stream to the tune of $155 million in taxes every year — money that the city does not want to lose so it wants the strike to end as quickly as possible regardless if the workers win their demands or not. The casino workers of Detroit do all the work that makes these incredibly profitable corporations run, and, like all workers, they deserve every penny of that profit. So until then we must continue to stand in solidarity with the workers on the picket line until their demands are met. 

Facebook Twitter Share

Labor Movement

Two raised fists, one holds pencils and another holds a wrench

Unite All Workers for Democracy Statement Against the Repression of the Palestine Movement

Statement from UAWD, a caucus of the UAW, against the repression of the Palestine movement

UAWD

May 4, 2024
Healthcare workers at a pro-Palestine rally. Sign reads "Healthcare workds for a free palestine"

Healthcare Workers Stand in Solidarity with the Student Movement against Repression and for a Free Palestine

In response to the repression that university students have faced in the last weeks, we urge healthcare workers and their unions around the world to sign a solidarity letter against repression and for a free Palestine.

Mike Pappas

May 2, 2024
Police begin to storm City College of New York, CUNY Palestine solidarity encampment on the evening of April 30, 2024.

City University of New York Workers Announce Wildcat Sickout After NYPD Arrests Over 100 of Their Students and Colleagues

CUNY workers announced a wildcat sickout after NYPD raided City College's Gaza Solidarity Encampment. It's the first known job action in the PSC union’s 52-year history.

Left Voice

May 1, 2024
NYPD arrest protesters at City College of New York, CUNY, following a raid on the encampment for Palestine. April 30, 2024.

All Out for Gaza and against Police Repression on May Day

Just hours before May Day, NYPD attacked peaceful pro-Palestinian protesters at Columbia University and City College. As we march for a free Palestine, the working class must also march against the repression faced by those who stand up against the genocide.

MOST RECENT

A banner at the City College Encampment in NYC which reads: "The 5 demands: 1) Divest 2) Boycott 3) Solidarity 4) Demilitarize 5) A People's CUNY

Specters of Vietnam in the pro-Palestinian Movement

The reemergence of the student movement raises echoes of the past that help to articulate key aspects of the direction of the movement against the genocide in Palestine. Here we consider a few links between today and the movement against the war in Vietnam.

Daniel Alfonso

May 12, 2024

The Bipartisan War on Immigrants Is Heating Up

Towards the elections in November, Biden and Trump have both made immigration a central issue for their campaigns, showing the central role the crisis at the southern border is for U.S. imperialism – and the necessity for the American working class to reject the chauvinist divisions it imposes.

Sou Mi

May 10, 2024

NYC Schools Chancellor Testifies in McCarthyist Congressional Hearings

New York City schools Chancellor David Banks testified in the series of McCarthyist congressional hearings of educational administrators, which are falsely conflating the pro-Palestinian movement with antisemitism and pressuring administrators to take harsh measures against their students and staff.

Emma Lee

May 9, 2024
Students at UNAM in Mexico raise the Palestinian flag in front of the university in May 2024.

“There Are No Separate Fights”: Interview with a Mexican Student at the UNAM Encampment for Gaza

We interviewed a participant of the student encampment for Gaza at the National Autonomous University of Mexico about democratic assemblies, anti-imperialism, and how Mexican workers and students are fighting to free Palestine.

Samuel Karlin

May 9, 2024