The Legacy Of Cesar Chavez, American Labor Activist


After his family lost his farm in Arizona during the Great Depression, a young Cesar Chavez learned firsthand the struggles migrant farm workers had to face for fair wages, protection from abuse, and workers' rights. After dropping out of school to work with his family in the areas of California, he enlisted in the Navy to serve the United States during World War II and spent his early adulthood reading and learning history, which later led to his death. He served him well in campaigning for basic rights in India. For your fellow workers.

After losing his job at the General Box Company in 1953, Chavez doubled down on community organization. He joined a Latino civil rights group called Community Service Organization, where he worked for 10 years, eventually becoming its national director. It was still not far enough for Chavez; He believed that the organization's focus was closer to immediate issues rather than to their underlying social causes. Permanent, large-scale change, he believed, required unionization.

Studio photograph of Mahatma Gandhi, London, 1931.

In 1962, Chavez founded the National Farm Workers Association. He spent two years focusing on community outreach and organization before his first major strike with California grape growers in 1965, which led to the boycott of all California grapes for an impressive five years. He received great support after leading a 340-mile journey from Delano, California to the capital, Sacramento, and later gained more respect as he endured a 25-day hunger strike in 1968. Chavez drew inspiration from and was committed to nonviolent activists like Mahatma Gandhi of India. Civil disobedience movement without the use of force.

The boycott was successful, and workers won the right to unionize in 1970. The following year, the NFWA Together with the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee to form the United Farm Workers of America, an organization that still exists today and has thousands of members nationwide. Finally, in 1975, California passed the Agricultural Labor Relations Act, which gave all agricultural workers in the state the right to unionize.

Spanish rally card for Barack Obama's presidential campaign in Austin, Texas, "Si se puede, Tejas!"

With that colossal victory in his pocket, Chavez focused his later efforts on pesticide regulation, as many farmers and their children became ill from the chemicals used in the fields. In 1988, at the age of 61, he went on his third hunger strike, which lasted for 36 days. Five years later, he died in his sleep of natural causes, but he lives on as a folk hero among Chicano and those fighting for workers' rights. The year after his death, he received the Presidential Medal of Honor and the "C, se pude!" Got his slogan. ("Yes, we can!") was used prominently by President Barack Obama for his 2008 election campaign. His name adorns parks, streets and schools across America, and he will certainly inspire workers' rights advocates for decades to come.

1 comment:

Powered by Blogger.