Chavez and the Farm Workers

By Ronald B. Taylor | Go to book overview

relations [laws] ever written. The evidence before the subcommittee shows that it would be harmful to the public interest and to all responsible labor unions to legislate otherwise. The evidence shows that a strike of any serious proportions in agriculture would choke off interstate commerce in necessary foodstuffs, would cause incalculable harm to the public, and would antagonize public opinion to the cause of trade unionism ... the subcommittee finds that the exemption of agriculture labor from the labor management relations act is sound ...


CHAPTER FIVE : EARLY ORGANIZING

To a young farm worker like Cesar Chavez the power of the growers appeared awesome.They could summon congressmen to do their bidding, their politicians passed laws favoring agribusiness and blocked legislation that could benefit farm workers, farmers routinely called on the courts and law enforcement agencies to protect their interests. When farmers needed a supply of water — to supplement the deep wells that were sucking the underground dry — they asked for and received billions of federal and state dollars for dams and canals to import water from great distances.

Subsidized irrigation systems, subsidized transportation networks, subsidized research and development of crops and machines, and subsidized marketing all contributed to the "progress" of the San Joaquin Valley.Valley farming communities grew into prosperous agribusiness cities, and the farmers turned some of their capital to banking and other business and some of their time to politics. Agribusiness control was absolute.

The farm workers and their families never shared in this progress; they were never a part of the farming community.

-75-

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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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