Meeting the Counterattack

Marshall Ganz

in Why David Sometimes Wins

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780195162011
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199943401 | DOI:
Meeting the Counterattack

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Even as the breakthrough with Schenley yielded a host of new opportunities for the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA), it called forth a powerful counterattack from the other Delano growers, which threatened the union's very survival. The attack challenged the NFWA leaders to quickly master a whole new level of strategic complexity; they needed to consolidate their past gains, even while carrying the fight forward. At the same time, they were competing with another union and battling growers on a far greater scale. The NFWA proved to be up to the task because it had developed the strategic capacity to respond quickly and creatively, expanding the size, scope, and diversity of its operations to enhance its strategic capacity still further. As a result, the NFWA improbably won the first union representation election held among farm workers and delivered the first setback to the alliance between the Teamsters union and California agribusiness, an alliance that was originally forged in the 1930s.

Keywords: National Farm Workers Association; Delano growers; farm labor unions; strategic capacity; union representation election; farm workers; Teamsters union; California agribusiness

Chapter.  13062 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Movements and Social Change

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