Chavez and the Farm Workers

By Ronald B. Taylor | Go to book overview

"We thought that always you had to suffer and be hungry. That was our life."

I asked, "You mean you had to be convinced this was a problem?"

"Yeah.Yeah. I think that is why Chavez is so great.He doesn't bullshit you. He just say, 'Look, you know, people call you a son-of-a-bitch in front of your wives, your mothers, and they don't have the right to do that.'

"I had accepted that as a way of life.So what was new? So then he convinced us something has to be done, that we do not have to take that. He tells us we can do something about that, and then he turns and goes away, just saying 'I'll see you, huh?' He doesn't tell us to join him, or nothing, so naturally we had to go to Delano and hear more." He grinned.

Then Loredo's deep brown face took on a serious, yet peaceful, expression, "He started shaping my life.I changed. I completely changed. I am a different man now."

And it is true. Ernesto Loredo is a different man.He is a leader himself, a quietly determined man who says, "In the United Farm Workers we see the solution to our problems ... before it was really something else, you know? And so we are willing to do anything we can.Some of us put our jobs on the line, whatever it takes. Some of us put our lives on the line to see that we have a union ... there is no other way."


CHAPTER THREE : A BLOODY PAST

The history of farm labor is redundant. Masses of impoverished people have been imported into the work force and exploited. Low pay and intolerable working conditions, hunger and privation, are the rule for those who must work for wages on the farm. Periodically these powerless workers

-36-

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Chavez and the Farm Workers
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Chavez and the Farm Workers *
  • Contents *
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Chapter One - : the Farm Workers 1
  • Chapter Two - : the Union 13
  • Chapter Three - : A Bloody Past 36
  • Chapter Four - : Chavez 57
  • Chapter Five - : Early Organizing 75
  • Chapter Six - : La Causa 106
  • Chapter Seven - : Delano Grape Strike 129
  • Chapter Eight : Power Struggle 156
  • Chapter Nine : First Successes 180
  • Chapter Ten : the Fast 208
  • Chapter Eleven : the Teamsters Again 249
  • Chapter Twelve : Agribusiness Conspiracy 284
  • Suggested Reading 333
  • Index 335
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