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California Grape Pickers Strike on Historic March from Delano to Sacramento_1969
September 30, 2023

September 30, 1962: The National Farm Workers Association Is Founded

This blog post explores the history of the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA), which later merged with the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC) to form the United Farm Workers (UFW).

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September 30, 1962: The National Farm Workers Association Is Founded

California Grape Pickers Strike on Historic March from Delano to Sacramento, 1969
California Historical Society


On this day, fifty-four years ago, activists/labor leaders César Chávez and Dolores Huerta cofounded the National Farm Workers Association. Defending unemployed, exploited, and discriminated workers, they organized strikes, boycotts, marches, and rallies—all nonviolent protests demanding improved pay, treatment, and working conditions for farmworkers.

 

In 1966 the NFWA teamed up with Filipino farmworkers of the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee and established the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee. In 1972, the committee was accepted into the AFL-CIO and was renamed the United Farmworkers Union.

Today, during National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15–October 15), we honor the men and women who brought national attention to the plight of Hispanic agricultural workers, the issue of social and economic justice, and the cause of Latino American civil rights in our state.

César Chávez
César Chávez (1927–1993) Courtesy Farmworker Movement Documentation Project, University of California, San Diego

Dolores Huerta
Dolores Huerta (b. 1930)
Courtesy John Kouns, Farmworker Movement Documentation Project
Pickets during the Grape and Lettuce Strike
Pickets during the Grape and Lettuce Strike, c. 1970s
Courtesy Walter P. Reuther Library
Striking Grape Pickers Marching from Delano to Sacramento
Striking Grape Pickers Marching from Delano to Sacramento, 1969
California Historical Society 
Chávez Walking with Union Members outside a Safeway Market
Chávez Walking with Union Members outside a Safeway Market, date unknown
Courtesy Los Angeles Public Library, Herald-Examiner Collection
UFWA flag
United Farmworkers/AFL-CIO Support at a Farmworkers Initiative Proposition 14 Rally, 1976
Courtesy Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego

 

 

For more about National Hispanic Heritage Month, visit hispanicheritagemonth.org.

Shelly Kale
Publications and Strategic Projects Manager

This post was originally published September 30, 2016 and has since been updated

 

 

 

 

 

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