How the United Farm Workers Made Workplaces Safer

May 3, 2021 | Labor and Employment, Work Accidents

The United Farm Workers demanded long-term policy changes. Through boycotts and other forms of activism, farmworkers succeeded in passing the California Agriculture Labor Relations Act of 1975. This act established collective bargaining power for farmworkers statewide.

Who are the United Farm Workers?

The National Farm Workers Association (NFWA) was the forerunner of the United Farm Workers (UFW). They are well known for the grape boycott in the late 1960s. This boycott forced producers to improve working conditions for migrant farmworkers. The union achieved collective bargaining rights for farmworkers across the United States.

Cesar Chavez, and Dolores Huerta, both civil rights activists, spearheaded the boycott of the popular Golden state fruit. Together they created UFW. Which focuses mostly on improving wages and working conditions for migrant farmworkers. They accomplished this by promoting such as using nonviolent marches and hunger strikes. This, in turn, drew national attention to the civil-rights conversation. Supporters of his cause across the country picketed outside stores that sold grapes from the Golden state.

Chavez worked first to gain the trust and loyalty of the farmworkers. To give farmworkers more independence, He set up a credit union. This enabled members to participate in cooperative food and drug stores, service stations, and insurance programs. The program also provided civic help to its members. They also bailed members out of jail, provided legal help, assisted with filing income taxes. It even gave laborers a forum to gather, state their grievances, and exercise their freedom of speech. These programs proved to be quite helpful to the already low-income status of the farmer workers.

United Farm Workers Movement of Today

Today, the UFW continues to promote non-violence among its members. It also seeks to educate its members on political and social issues. UFW is organized in major agriculture sectors like berry, winery, tomatoes, dairy, and mushrooms.

Five years after the grape strike, growers agreed to a contract that made significant improvements for farmworkers. Workers saw pay raises, healthcare benefits, and safety protections from pesticides. These important rights were hard-fought, and modern employers are obligated to follow the laws that protect workers. Even so, some companies refuse to provide workers with the rights that they deserve.

Many Farmworkers encounter abusive labor practices at the hands of their unethical employers. Workers all too often labor for employers who skirt the minimum wage laws or practice other forms of wage theft. Some are even forced to work in unhealthy or dangerous conditions. The employment abuses in the agriculture sector are challenging to address. This is because farm work is not covered by many labor protection laws that other workers enjoy. However, our lawyers have the expertise to navigate this complex system to get you the justice you deserve.


Williams Hart & Boundas Law Firm works exclusively with farmworkers in getting them the fair treatment they deserve. Our legal team knows how to investigate claims and fight for results when employers violate your rights.

If you believe your employer violated your right by unfair workplace policies and practices. You should contact a farmworker lawyer promptly. Our workplace lawyer can advise you of your rights. We can also help ensure you receive the just treatment you’re entitled to in the workplace.

Disclaimer: This material is provided for informational purposes only. The provision of this material does not create an attorney-client relationship between the firm and the reader and does not constitute legal advice. Legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and the contents of this newsletter are not a substitute for legal counsel. Do not take action in reliance on the contents of this material without seeking the advice of counsel.

The information contained in this blog may or may not reflect the most current legal developments. Accordingly, information in this blog is not promised or guaranteed to be correct or complete, and should not be relied upon as such. Readers should conduct their own appropriate legal research.

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