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Canty, Hattie, 1933-2012


Hattie Canty was born and raised in St. Stephens, Alabama. She moved to California as a young woman to seek employment, and married and started a family. Canty's family moved to Las Vegas, Nevada in the late 1960s and she found work as a maid for the Thunderbird Hotel and later the Maxim Hotel and Casino. Canty became a Culinary Union Local 226 member. Over the years, she became involved in securing better salaries for women and increasing the number of African Americans in high-paying positions in the casino industry. In May 1990, Hattie was elected President of the Culinary Union. In both 1993 and 1996, she was re-elected.

During her tenure, she had her share of labor challenges. She went to jail at least six times while striking. She influenced contract negotiations for the downtown hotels, improved race relations among workers, and involved more members in union operations. She also implemented the Culinary Training School that allows training in most union job categories.

She passed away in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 12, 2012.