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Casino Management Case Study

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318 Labor Studies Journal 36(2)

owned by Steven Wynn, casino management became more professional and more

skilled in resisting labor claims. Nevertheless, labor was still able to secure victories

in this era, as their skillful negotiations with Hilton show.

As the lines between labor and management grew starker, Kraft's story reaches its

climax in the 1984-1985 strike. To some extent, this was the last gasp of the old labor

power, now weakened by stronger management and by internal conflicts within labor.

Kraft correctly points out that the old system of working to find a solution at one facility

and then using it to leverage contracts at other facilities, such as the UAW did, was

less successful in the face of unified management. The threat of permanent replacements,

now approved by state and federal authorities, also eroded support for the strike. In the

end, while all--operators and workers alike--lost ground in this battle, the strike was

"the most important setback for organized labor in the history of Las Vegas" (p. 198).

As the United States continues to move from an industrial economy to a service

economy, the importance of the labor movement in nontraditional venues continues to

grow. Vegas at Odds presents some lessons that should be heeded by labor leaders not

only in hotel and restaurant unions, but also throughout the movement.

Cassanello, Robert, and Melanie Shell-Weiss, eds. Florida's Working-Class Past: Current Perspectives

on Labor, Race, and Gender from Spanish Florida to the New Immigration. Gainesville: University

Press of Florida, 2009. 304 pp. $29.95 (paper).

Reviewed by: Marcos Feldman, Florida International University, Miami, FL, USA

DOI: 10.1177/0160449X11406405

The essays that make up Florida's Working-Class Past, edited by Robert Cassanello

and Melanie Shell-Weiss, deftly analyze the interaction of race, ethnicity, gender, and

migration in Florida's labor histories and shed light on the challenges to and possibilities

for worker empowerment and justice in the twenty-first century.

The volume's editors contextualize the essays with a review of how Florida's labor

history was written in the past, highlighting the ever-present force of mobility affecting

community and labor relations. "Neither typically 'southern' nor 'northern'" (p. 2),

Florida's position makes its labor history ideal for examining patterns that increasingly

affect urban and rural workers elsewhere. The essays span four centuries and deal with

working conditions from slavery and the earliest manipulations of "free labor" in

Florida's early agricultural industries to contemporary urban and rural wage earners.

The first four chapters cover pre- and post-Civil War labor histories and emphasize

the social and ecological damage caused by newcomers seeking to control and develop

land, and the emerging role of race and mobility as forces with oppressive and libratory

potential. Tamara Spikes' analysis of the tribute system that supported Spanish

Book Reviews 319

colonies' "hunger" for Apalachee Indian corn and Edward Baptist's depiction of slave

labor as the foundation for mid-Florida's cotton and sugar industries contribute to our

understanding of race and labor management as "methods for making the bodies of

enslaved people into factors of production" (p. 32).

Contrary to the notion that migration and mobility undermine worker justice, Brent

Weisman's chapter highlights how Black Seminoles' mobility was crucial to their semiautonomous

existence between the worlds of white men and Seminoles. Conversely,

Mark Long describes how, in the post-Civil War period, mobility emerged as a way

for early agro-industrialists like Henry Sanford to circumvent black and white workers'

"resistance to proletarianization" (p. 93) by importing Swedish workers, who themselves

eventually developed a "decidedly mutinous spirit" (p. 101).

Cassanello turns our attention to Florida's emerging labor movement in the years

surrounding World War I, focusing on how race and gender were used as tools to divide

workers and insulate white male privilege among telephone operators, streetcar drivers,

and cigar makers, although later becoming the impetus for early and promising attempts

at interracial unionism. Thomas Castillo's essay on Miami's burgeoning chauffeur business

demonstrates how in the racial compromise that protected blacks' right to drive,

"the ideas of black servility and racial uplift merged neatly as Miami's white business

elite sought to protect the viability of the city's tourist economy" (p. 143).

Alex Lichtenstein's analysis of Communist Party labor organizing among cigar,

citrus, and shipyard workers in the 1930s

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