Cesar Chavez

Led by his desire to secure a better quality of life for migrant farm workers, Cesar Chavez helped found the United Farm Workers for America (UFW), the first effective farm workers’ union in the United States. Under his leadership of nonviolent protest, the UFW was able to secure improved wages and benefits, more humane living and working conditions and better job security for some of the poorest workers in America. Through his life of service, Chavez provided inspiration to countless others.

Social issues Cesar Chavez addressed:

  • Rights and wages of migrant farm workers
  • Humane working and living conditions for migrant farm workers
  • Health

Social issues that need to be addressed today:

  • Rights and Wages – Three of five families live below the poverty level. In addition to low wages, farm workers rarely have access to workers’ compensation or disability compensation benefits. Source
  • Humane Working and Living Conditions – Working under the sun in the fields is extremely hot. The hours are long. Drinking water and sanitation are not always available. Housing is often run down and crowded. Some housing lacks adequate sanitation and working appliances. Under these conditions, many farm workers are unable to store food safely, prepare a warm meal or even shower after a long day of working the fields. Source
  • Health – Pesticides on crops can harm workers and their children. Families often lack access to doctors. Source