Creating Change

United Farm Workers

Reasons For the Movement

In the 1960's, workers from both the NFWA and AWOC both began strikes to protest and demand the raising of wages and safer working conditions. The two organizations allied to become a labor union for farmers, working to improve economic and social conditions for farmers, ensure safe working conditions, and to end discrimination in the workplace. The union still strikes today for the improvement of workers rights.
United Farm Workers March Through Modesto

Successes of the Movement:

-Legislation

Agricultural Relations Act: It was passed in the state of California in 1975 that was designed to allow farmers to have collective bargaining rights. It was the first state in the U.S to pass this law.

-Court Cases

United Farm Workers of America v. Supreme Court: Will a class action lie to restrain a labor unions picketing activities? It was ultimately decided that the complaints brought before the court by the California Retail Liquor Dealer institute did not justify the "broad injunctive relief sought.


Prima v. UFW: The large fruit brand Prima and the UFW have been at odds for decades over poor treatment of workers and refusal to pay what the workers are owed. Additionally, in the past there have been accusations of illegitimate contracts. The issue is still not resolved, and no longer a clear cut case after decades of accusations and legal battles.

-Social and Economic Gains

The UFW was famous for its successful boycotts on fruit companies that influenced many Americans throughout the country, with the help of the Civil Rights Movement. In 1966, the UFW encouraged Americans to place a boycott on the DiGiorgio Fruit Corp. The company negotiated for an election. Next, the group targeted the Perelli-Minetti wine group and the Giumarra Vineyards Corp. This led to hundreds of workers and unionists scattered across the United States and Canada. A couple of years later, the strike continues to escalate, causing the grape growing companies to capitulate and sign contracts made by the UFW.

Key People and Organizations

Several key people and organizations were involved with the rise of the UFW. The UFW originated from the merging of two different workers rights organizations, the National Farm Workers Asscociation led by Caesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, and the Agriculture Workers Organizing Commitee led by by Larry Itliong.
United Farm Workers celebrates 50th anniversary