Today in labor history, March 17, 1966: Nearly 100 striking Mexican and Filipino farm workers begin a march from Delano to Sacramento, California. By April 11, when they reached the steps of the state capitol, 10,000 supporters had joined them. A few months later, the two organizations representing the workers – the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee and the National Farm Workers Association – joined to form a single union, out of which the United Farm Workers was born.
Today in labor history, July 29, 1970: After five years of strikes and boycotts, table grape growers in California sign their first collective bargaining agreement with the United Farm Workers. The contract—which covered over 10,000 workers—ended labor contracting and established seniority and hiring rights; included an immediate wage increase; and provided for fresh water and toilets in the fields, and a medical plan.
Today in labor history, April 10, 1930: Labor leader, community organizer, civil rights activist, and feminist Dolores Huerta is born. She co-founded, with Cesar Chavez, the National Farm Workers Association, which would later become the United Farm Workers. “Walk the street with us into history,” Huerta said. “Get off the sidewalk.”