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UNITE HERE Records LSC.2325
LSC.2325  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use
  • Preferred Citation
  • Provenance/Source of Acquisition
  • Processing Information
  • UCLA Catalog Record ID
  • Biography/History
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

  • Title: UNITE HERE records
    Identifier/Call Number: LSC.2325
    Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 33.8 linear feet (25 boxes, 15 cartons, 11 flat boxes, 3 oversize flat boxes, 1 flat file)
    Date (bulk): Bulk, 1980-1990
    Date (inclusive): 1920-2013
    Abstract: UNITE-HERE Local 11 traces its origins to the Hotel and Restaurant Employees and Bartenders International union founded in 1891 and has been active in Southern California since the 1930s. Local 11 partnered with other labor and community organizations to play a key role in reviving the Los Angeles labor movement during the 1990s and 2000s. Local 11 grew through mergers with HERE locals in Santa Monica (Local 814) in 2002 and Orange County/Long Beach (Local 681) in 2008. HERE International merged with UNITE (Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees) to form UNITE-HERE in July, 2004. This collection consists of materials documenting UNITE-HERE Locals 11, 814 and 681 and includes files of union leaders Maria Elena Durazo, Kurt Petersen and Tom Walsh, Executive Board meeting minutes, newspaper coverage in English and Spanish of union campaigns, union serial publications, booklets and videos, television coverage of organizing campaigns, transcribed oral histories, photographs and ephemera.
    Language of Materials: Materials are primarily in English, some materials in Spanish.
    Physical Location: Stored off-site at SRLF. All requests to access special collections material must be made in advance using the request button located on this page.
    Creator: UNITE HERE (Organization).

    Conditions Governing Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. All requests to access special collections material must be made in advance using the request button located on this page.
    Box 52 containing quilt top banner requires special handling for access.

    Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

    Property rights to the physical objects belong to the UCLA Library Special Collections. All other rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], UNITE HERE records (Collection 2325). Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, University of California, Los Angeles.

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    UNITE HERE Local 11; Gift; 2015.

    Processing Information

    Pre-processing by Gina Risetter in the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, 2016. Additional processing completed by Margaret Rank supervised by Julie Graham, 2017. Finding aid scope and content note and organizational history note authored by Vivian Rothstein and Danielle Wilson.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 8213116 

    Biography/History

    UNITE-HERE Local 11 traces its origins to the Hotel and Restaurant Employees and Bartenders International Union founded in 1891 and has been active in Southern California since the 1930s. Along with Justice for janitors, LAANE and the County Federation of Labor, it played a key role in reviving the Los Angeles labor movement during the 1990s and 2000s. HERE International merged with UNITE (Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees Union) to form UNITE-HERE in July, 2004.
    Local 11 has been involved with high profile organizing activities throughout Los Angeles. In the 1990s they led a multi-year campaign to unionize the New Otani Hotel in Little Tokyo through a card check process as well as campaigns to unionize workers at the Ambassador Hotel and luxury hotels on Santa Monica’s beach front. In 2004 they participated in a national campaign with major hotels across the United States and won important concessions from local hotels. The local has been a strong proponent of Living Wage and Minimum Wage Ordinances in L.A., Santa Monica and Long Beach and helped create the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE).
    Historically waiters, bartenders, waitresses, kitchen and cleaning staff organized into separate locals or chapters. By the 1970s, most locals were geographically based, and included both front of the house staff (e.g., waiters and bartenders) and back of the house staff (e.g. kitchen, cleaning, etc.). During the 1980s and 1990s, the Los Angeles and Santa Monica HERE locals experienced leadership strains, with long serving leaders failing to respond to an increasingly immigrant workforce and anti-union climate;
    Maria Elena Durazo, emerged as a reform leader of Local 11 in the late 1980s, leading several successful organizing drives for HERE, and championing the cause of back of the house staff, mainly Latin American immigrant women. In 1989, Durazo was elected Local 11 president, becoming one of the first Latina leaders of a major American union local. She would eventually serve as Secretary Treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor (2005 to 2014). In 1995, Local 814 in Santa Monica was placed in trusteeship and in an election the following year, organizer Tom Walsh became president. Kurt Petersen, who joined the United Farm Workers of Washington State as an organizer, started his association with HERE in 1995 and has served the Local and national organization in various capacities.
    The geographic scope of Local 11 grew through mergers with local unions in Santa Monica (Local 814) in 2002, and Orange County/Long Beach (Local 681) in 2008. Tom Walsh became the president of Local 11 after the mergers. The organization, with a membership of over 20,000 in 2018, embraces workers throughout Southern California, with a diverse membership from many immigrant communities as well as African-Americans, Latinos, and Asian-Americans. Industries represented include hotels, casinos, foodservice and retail airport concessions, stadiums and restaurants. Through grassroots mobilization of workers and community allies, Local 11 has improved working conditions, wages, and benefits for their members, transforming traditionally low-wage jobs to middle class jobs, and successfully participates in labor-management partnerships with employers to resolve issues in the workplace.

    Scope and Content

    The collection consists of materials related to the UNITE HERE Local 11 labor union. Included are files documenting UNITE HERE Local 11, Local 814, and Local 681. The Local 11 records represent files of union leaders Maria Elena Durazo, Kurt Petersen, and Tom Walsh; Executive Board meeting minutes, and newspaper and television coverage of union events and working conditions. Local 814 records include files from Kurt Petersen, Tom Walsh, Bill Granfield, and Victor Valenzuela. The Local 681 records are largely union serial publications going back to the 1940s, The Mixer and Server and Catering Industry Employee, union booklets documenting wage scale and working condition agreements, union Bylaws and photographs. Union leader files document organizing efforts on behalf of the employees of Southern California hotels and restaurants including Miramar Sheraton and Loews in Santa Monica, among others; legal matters, many involving the NLRB; newspaper clippings, union flyers, videos and publications, and anti-union employer documents, shop steward training materials, photographs, oral history interviews, and ephemera. Events represented include the Immigrant Worker Freedom Ride (IWFR), the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE) Santa Monica Living Wage campaign, LAX airport organizing campaigns, and Century Boulevard hotel organizing, among others.

    Organization and Arrangement

    Arranged into the following series:
    • Series 1: Local 11 records (1952-2013, bulk 1980s-2012)
      • Subseries 1.1 Meeting Minutes (1952-1954, 1961-1963, 1972-1982, 1994, undated)
      • Subseries 1.2 Kurt Petersen files (circa 1980s-2012)
      • Subseries 1.3 Tom Walsh files (circa 1970s-circa 2004)
      • Subseries 1.4 Maria Elena Durazo files (1989-2008)
      • Subseries 1.5 News clippings (1994-2013)
      • Subseries 1.6 Photographs and ephemera (1970s, 1991-2004, 1999, circa 2008)
    • Series 2: Local 814 records (1950-2003)
      • Subseries 2.1 Kurt Petersen files (circa 1980s-2004)
      • Subseries 2.2 Tom Walsh files (circa 1980s-circa 1990s, 2001)
      • Subseries 2.3 Bill Granfield files (1988-1997, 1999)
      • Subseries 2.4 Victor Valenzuela files (circa 1950s-1993)
      • Subseries 2.5 Gary Guthman files (1988-1990)
      • Subseries 2.6 Photographs and ephemera (1996-2002)
    • Series 3: Local 681 records (1920-1994, 1999-2004)

    Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

    COLLECTION CONTAINS AUDIOVISUAL MATERIALS: Audiovisual materials in this collection will require assessment and possible digitization for safe access. All requests to access special collections material must be made in advance using the request button located on this page.
    COLLECTION CONTAINS DIGITAL MATERIALS: Special equipment or further processing may be required for viewing. Unprocessed content includes 3 hard drives. All requests to access special collections material must be made in advance using the request button located on this page.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    UNITE HERE (Organization). -- Archives
    Labor unions--California--Los Angeles--Archives.