Delano Grape Strike

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Grassroots Efforts for Change: The Rise and Success of the United Farm Workers

In the first half of the 20th century, unionized work forces became more prevalent across most major industries in the United States, and farm workers were among the many types of laborers seeking protection from inhumane and unfair working conditions. The agricultural workforce in the western United States from the 19th century onward was primarily made up of immigrants from all over the world, and so because of existing prejudices, too-loose adherence to measures put into place before the 1960s, and undermining and interfering actions taken by opposing parties, it was much more difficult for them to obtain the equality needed to reach a sustainable state of protection …show more content…

Chavez continued to be an important figure in the human rights movement, undergoing multiple much-publicized fasts over the years in protest of issues like restrictive labor laws in Arizona and the expiration of grape contracts in California (Martin). In the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s the UFW staged a number of other strikes related to lettuce and vegetable farms paying their workers too little, and Chavez organized a number of other less famous but significant marches, such as a 1,000 mile trek from the Mexican border to Sacramento meant to educate farmers about their newly-acquired rights (Tejafa-Flores). Though Cesar Chavez passed away in 1993 while doing a fast in protest against a large lawsuit a vegetable grower was pursuing against the UFW, his legacy as a nonviolent, grassroots leader who changed the face of American labor movements continues to endure with great presence today. The UFW continues today to push for positive changes to be made for farm laborers and undocumented workers in the United States, such as in the case of their pushing for recent immigration reforms which will affect hundreds of thousands of farm laborers in the United States, and especially California. Amidst the changing landscape of immigration reform, groups like the UFW will most likely to continue to use the methods of direct participation and spreading of public awareness in order to move the American public towards a state of positive progressive change and justice for everyone, no matter where they originally come

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