The formation of the United Farm Workers (UFW) in 1965 under the leadership of Cesar Chavez produced a new era in farm labor activism. The union developed after years of struggle and failed attempts to create a permanent union. In 1956, the National Farm Labor Union—renamed the National Agricultural Workers Union (NAWU)—made some attempts to organize farm workers. Scholar/activist Ernesto Galarza worked on strikes in the Imperial Valley and Central California but struggled to overcome differences in strategy among organizers. In 1962, two organizations, the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC), composed mainly of Filipinos, and the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA), composed mainly of Mexicans, formed in separate locations in rural California. In 1965, the two organizations merged to create the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee. When the organization became affiliated with the AFL-CIO in 1972, the national executive board changed their name to the United Farm Workers of America (UFWA), while the press, the public, and advocates commonly referred to the organization as the “UFW.”
Article. 4654 words.
Subjects: History of the Americas ; US Cultural History
Full text: subscription required