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Bitter Casino Strike Ends After Six Years

Kathleen Hahn’s eyes grew moist as she watched hundreds of loudly chanting union members, led by the Rev. Jesse Jackson, converge on the entrance to the Frontier Hotel-Casino.

“It’s been a long, hard fight, but we made it,” she said of the strike against the Frontier that started on Sept. 21, 1991.

Hahn was one of 550 Culinary Union members who walked out when the resort refused to match a contract offered by most hotels in this gambling capital. They expected to be out for only days.

The bitter strike ended at 12:01 a.m. Sunday when the new owner, Phillip Ruffin, joined by Jackson and Nevada Gov. Bob Miller, snipped a red ribbon and were swept inside the hotel by hundreds of union members.

Ruffin, a Wichita, Kan., businessman who bought the hotel in October for $167 million, took control of the property Sunday with the promise of a union contract. He said 280 of the original workers are coming back.