Sunday, October 23, 2011

Motor City Casinos to Detail Deal to Workers


B y Louis Aguilar
Detroit casino workers should get details of the tentative deal reached by five unions and the three gaming halls starting possibly as early as Saturday.

Union members will be briefed on the agreement this weekend, said Michelle Martin, spokeswoman for the United Auto Workers international union, whose Local 7777 was involved in the Detroit Casino Council talks with MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino-Hotel and Greektown Casino Hotel. A tentative deal was reached Wednesday.

On their websites and Facebook pages, the UAW local and UNITE HERE Local 24, which represents hospitality workers at the casinos, were not providing details of the tentative four-year agreement or even given a firm date and time when agreement briefings for members would be given. None of the casinos would reveal or confirm any details of the tentative contract.

The deal would cover the 7,090 licensed employees at the three casinos, and other workers who are not required to be licensed by the state's regulatory board.

Detroit has the country's fifth largest casino gaming market. Last year, the three casinos generated $1.38 billion in revenue, a 3 percent increase over 2009.

Some union workers have already declared they don't like the tentative deal. They have posted comments on the UAW Local 7777's Facebook page worrying that the four-year deal doesn't give them a sufficient pay hike and may increase health care premiums.

One worker identified as Carrie Williams said she worries that union families "cannot afford this contract." The casinos pushed for workers to pay for more of their health care coverage during this year's negotiations and in 2007.

Workers at all five unions authorized a strike if negotiations failed.

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