Thursday, October 23, 2014
Cesar Chavez co-founded the National Farm Workers Association
Cesar Chavez (born César Estrada Chávez, was an American farm worker, labor leader and civil rights activist, who, with Dolores Huerta, co-founded the National Farm Workers Association (later the United Farm Workers union, UFW). A Mexican American, Chavez became the best known Latino American civil rights activist, and was strongly promoted by the American labor movement, which was eager to enroll Hispanic members. His public-relations approach to unionism and aggressive but nonviolent tactics made the farm workers' struggle a moral cause with nationwide support. By the late 1970s, his tactics had forced growers to recognize the UFW as the bargaining agent for 50,000 field workers in California and Florida. However, by the mid-1980s membership in the UFW had dwindled to around 15,000. During his lifetime, Colegio Cesar Chavez was one of the few institutions named in his honor, but after his death he became a major historical icon for the Latino community, with many schools, streets, and parks being named after him. He has since become an icon for organized labor symbolizing support for workers and for Hispanic empowerment based on grass roots organizing .