Master of Arts (MA)
First Committee Member
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After the mid-twentieth century, the American labor movement began to decline. Across the U.S., Union memberships and the rate of work stoppages decreased. In the hospitality-industry-driven city of Las Vegas, Nevada, however, the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 more than doubled its membership. In 1989, the Elardi family purchased the Frontier Hotel and Casino and began to eliminate workers’ benefits. Led by the Culinary Union, workers went on strike on September 21, 1991, beginning one of the longest strikes in twentieth-century Las Vegas. Latina workers played critical roles in organizing and maintaining this successful, six-year-long battle against the Elardis. Positioning Latina workers’ oral histories at the center of this analysis, I trace the course of the dispute from 1989, when the Elardis purchased the Frontier, to 1998, when the strike ended after the Elardis sold the hotel. To reveal how and why Latinas participated in this strike, this project focuses on Latina workers’ immigration experiences, the familial bonds workers forged with one another, and the women who led the strike.
Culinary Union Local 226; Frontier; Labor; Las Vegas; Latinas; Strike
American Studies | Labor Relations | United States History
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Estrada Calderón, Maribel, "The Frontier of the Labor Movement: Latinas and the Longest Strike in Twentieth-Century Las Vegas" (2021). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 4139.
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