Dolores Huerta, a CSO activist joined César Chávez in the early years of the National Farm Workers Association and monumental building of the UFW.
For more than a century, farmworkers had been denied a decent life in the fields and communities of California's agricultural valleys. Essential to the state's biggest industry, but only so long as they remained exploited and submissive farmworkers had tried but failed so many times to organize the giant agribusiness farms that most observers considered it a hopeless task. And yet by the early 1960's things were beginning to change beneath the surface. Within another fifteen years more than 50,000 farmworkers were protected by union contracts.
The Bracero program, an informal arrangement between the United States and Mexican governments, became Public Law 78 in 1951. Started during World War II as a program to provide Mexican agricultural workers to growers, it continued after the war.
Public Law 78 stated that no Bracero --a temporary worker imported from México -- could replace a domestic worker. In reality this provision was rarely enforced. In fact the growers had wanted the Bracero program to continue after the war precisely in order to replace domestic workers.
The small but energetic National Farm Labor Union, led by dynamic organizer Ernesto Galarza, found its efforts to create a lasting California farmworkers union in the 1940's and 50's stymied again and again by the growers' manipulation of Braceros.
Over time, however, farmworkers, led by César Chávez, were able to call upon allies in other unions, in churches and in community groups affiliated with the growing civil rights movement, to put enough pressure on politicians to end the Bracero Program by 1964.
But some things hadn't changed. Grape pickers in 1965 were making an average of $.90/hour, plus ten cents per "lug" (basket) picked. State laws regarding working standards were simply ignored by growers. At one farm the boss made the workers all drink from the same cup "a
ACE/CCS continues holiday tradition
Cuddling steaming cups of hot coffee, volunteers for the Adolescent Counseling Exchange/Community Challenge School (ACE/CCS) braved the cold to help ensure that ACE/CCS families had a great Thanksgiving. The west Denver school held their annual Thanksgiving Basket Event this past weekend, which ...
Fast urges Congress to end moral crisis
As communities across the country continue to escalate their campaign for commonsense immigration reform and pressure leadership in the House of Representatives, faith, immigrant rights and labor leaders launched their “Fast for Families: A Call for Immigration Reform and Citizenship” on ...
José Martínez wins prestigious educator award
In a surprise announcement at an all-school assembly, Colorado’s Bear Creek High School social studies teacher José Martínez was presented this week with a $25,000 check from the Milken Family Foundation in recognition of his exceptional work as a model teacher for the state and nation.
Katherine Archuleta: First Latina director of OPM
Katherine Archuleta was sworn-in as the 10th Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and will serve as the Federal government’s personnel chief. Archuleta was confirmed by the U.S. Senate with strong bipartisan support in a 62–36 vote.
She will be the first Latina to hold this ...