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Casino WomenCourage in Unexpected Places$
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Susan Chandler and Jill B. Jones

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450143

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450143.001.0001

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“They’re Treating Us Like Donkeys, Really”

“They’re Treating Us Like Donkeys, Really”

Housekeeping and Other Back of the House Work

(p.15) 2 “They’re Treating Us Like Donkeys, Really”
Casino Women

Susan Chandler

Jill B. Jones

Cornell University Press

This chapter tells the stories of back of the house workers (e.g. maids, laundry workers, porters, janitors, cooks, dishwashers) who constitute the vast majority of casino and hotel workers. Nearly always female and, in Nevada, predominantly immigrant and Latina, these women serve as the base of gaming's enormous global empire, working long hours at low pay and in jobs characterized by hard labor, high rates of injury, and few if any ladders to advancement. Unseen and unheralded, back of the house workers appear to work without voice in a geography in which they are present. However, these workers are neither silent nor invisible. Many of them speak out, form family-like ties with other workers, and defend each other. The women in this chapter describe their initiation into maid work, the nature of that work, the injuries they suffer, the abuse that daily accompanies their efforts, and then remarkably take us into a world whose hopefulness we did not anticipate encountering.

Keywords:   house workers, casino workers, hotel workers, Nevada, immigrants, Latina women

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