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Cesar Chavez Essay

891 words - 4 pages

Cesar ChavezCesar Chavez was one of the many crucial figures that have lived during the early 20th century. His many imperative contributions changed the way corporations and companies dealt with their workers. Chavez wasn't satisfied with the rights and wages he and his fellow workers earned and started a national association to improve working conditions and earn better wages.Cesar Chavez was born in North Gila Valley, near Yuma, Arizona. He was one of six children. His parents owned a ranch and a small grocery store, but during the Great Depression in the 1930s they lost everything. In order to survive, Cesar Chavez and his family became migrant farm workers, traveling around California to find work (Aleman). It was hard work, and they did not live in the same place for long. The Chavez family would pick peas and lettuce in the winter, cherries and beans in the spring, corn and grapes in the summer, and cotton in the fall. Working conditions for migrant workers were harsh and often unsafe. Their wages were low, and it was difficult to support a family. Cesar's family frequently did not have access to basic needs such as clean water or toilets ("The Story"). Because a large number of migrant workers were Mexican American, they also often faced prejudice, and their children had to skip school to earn wages to help support the family (Aleman). Cesar Chavez attended about 30 schools in California as his family moved from place to place to find work. After the eighth grade Cesar had to quit school to support his ailing parents. Cesar's life growing up had a big impact on what he did with the rest of his life. In 1948, he married a woman who also was from a family of migrant farm workers. By 1959, the couple had eight children, and Chavez, who had little education and training, was forced to return to farm work ("The Story"). As before, life in the fields was harsh. Chavez decided he had to do something about it. He started to unite farm workers into a labor union. As a group they would try to get higher wages and better working conditions.Cesar Chavez spent most of his life working on farms in California, where pay was low and comforts were few. He wanted to improve the situation, so in the 1950s, he started organizing agricultural workers into a labor union that would demand higher pay and better working conditions from their employers (Lucas). In 1962, Chavez and fellow organizer Dolores Huerta founded the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA). In 1965, Chavez and Huerta agreed to honor a walkout by farm workers in Delano, California, who were in another union, the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee. Workers in the NFWA...

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