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.
Inside a small taco stand located in the heart of the Coney Island amusement district, a small but vocal group of community members gathered over a platter of tacos al pastor, to discuss how a proposed casino would affect their lives. “They will push us out and push local business out,” Jenny Hernandez, 30, said at the event. She has lived in Coney Island since she immigrated with her family from Mexico when she was a child. To her, a casino would destroy everything that she loves about her neighborhood. “I love Coney Island and what I love the most about it is the diversity of nationalities that is here. I want it to stay that way and I want my kids to see all the nationalities.”