CENTRO: New York City Hispanic Labor Documentation Oral History Project

Collection, LABOR
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Between 2000-2001, the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, in collaboration with the Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives at New York University, and with the cooperation of the New York City Central Labor Council’s Hispanic Labor Committee, the Santiago Iglesias Educational Society of Local 3, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), and the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), New York City Central Chapter, conducted a one-year records survey project to locate and plan for the permanent preservation of records documenting Hispanic labor in New York City. Puerto Rican, Dominican, Mexican, Central and South American workers have played prominent roles in health care, service (building service, hotel and restaurant employment), garment and other manufacturing. Many people surveyed did not keep records, so the Centro team decided to conduct interviews in addition to or in lieu of records to capture the history of Hispanic labor in New York City. In general, the interviews provide information regarding leadership formation, the role of Latinas in the labor movement, the participation of the various Hispanic groups in different economic sectors, some honest assessments of experiences with labor unions, and the formation of clubs and societies, among other issues. 

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