Quotes of American History: Cesar Chavez on Perseverance

Quote Quota Man, December 8 2012

Cesar Chavez

"Si, se puede." - Cesar Chavez

Cesar Chavez was a labor organizer among the agricultural workers of the Southwest. With Delores Huerta he co-founded the National Farm Workers Association which became the United Farm Workers. Throughout the 1960s and early 70s this union engaged in labor actions until it finally won the right of collective bargaining for California agricultural workers in 1975.

The largest of these actions was the Salad Bowl Strike. In competition with both the California growers and the Teamsters Union, the largely Hispanic UFW walked off the job on August 23, 1970 in the largest farm strike in American history. Targeted at the lettuce growers, this action caused the price of lettuce to double almost overnight. The strike did not end until March 26, 1971.

Over the ensuing years a series of agreements was worked out including the right for collective bargaining, though the persistence since that time of the UFW's gains is debatable.

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