Pictures
Search
Information
Photographers
Registration
Collections
Portfolios
Thumbnails
Lightbox
   The First Grape Strike 1965-1970  more information...
 
3641304
Striker With Sign
3641304
3642613
Strikers With Signs
3642613
3641926
Striker With Sign
3641926
3610118
Striker With Sign
3610118
3611105
Striker With Bullhorn
3611105
3610418
Striker Calling Field Workers
3610418
3640412
Delores Huerta
3640412
3610332
Cesar Chavez With Bullhorn
3610332
3610202
Strikers Call Field Workers
3610202
3610919
Louis Valdez With Bullhorn
3610919
3644636
Striker With Flag & Sign
3644636
3641301
Strikers Call Field Workers
3641301
3642015
Delores Huerta Picketing
3642015
3642017
Delores Huerta Picketing
3642017
3640911
Delores Huerta Leading Picket
3640911
3642128
Strikers Call Field Workers
3642128
3640302
Strikers Call Field Workers
3640302
3641622
Strikers Call Field Workers
3641622
3644634
Strikers Call Field Workers
3644634
3640728
Strikers Call Field Workers
3640728
3640001
Cesar Chavez & Strikers
3640001
3610320
Strikers Picketing
3610320
3601101
Filipino Strikers Picketing
3601101
3611123
Strikers Persuading Scab
3611123
3640909
Strikers Persuading Scab
3640909
3610310
Strike Breaker Joins Strike
3610310
3642629
Strikers Picket Scab's Home
3642629
3644208
Strike Breakers
3644208
3644132
Sheriff Guards Child Scabs
3644132
3644605
Grower Guards Vineyards
3644605
3611821
Growers Picket Strikers
3611821
3610912
Police Confront Strikers
3610912
3642635
Policeman Confronts Striker
3642635
3642617
Growers Harass Strikers
3642617
3642307
Cesar Chavez Confronts Policeman
3642307
3611023
Strikers Picket Vineyards
3611023
3644435
Strikers Call Field Workers
3644435
3610225
Strikers Picket Vineyards
3610225
3610206
Strikers Picket Vineyards
3610206
3610322
Striker, Cold Winter Day
3610322
3610513
Striker, Cold Winter Day
3610513
3610230
Picketing Labor Camp
3610230
3641015
Picketing Labor Bus
3641015
3644507
Delano Protest
3644507
3644510
Delano Protest
3644510
3644530
Delano Protest
3644530
3642312
Delano Protest
3642312
3610002
Chavez Leading Pickets
3610002
3644332
Delano Protest March
3644332
3611806
Mass At Grape Fields
3611806
3611908
Chavez and Children
3611908
3644331
Farm Workers Rally
3644331
3641831
Grape Pickers Wanted
3641831
3611221
Strike Button
3611221
Close

The Great Delano Strike and Grape Boycott On September 20, 1965 Mexican farmworkers joined Filipinos in the largest form labor strike in recent memory. More than two thousand workers had walked out of vineyards in California's Kern and Tulare counties. The little town of Delano soon became the focus as picket lines were set up and farmworkers and their families were joined by students, trade unionists, and members of the clergy. Soon reporters from around the country arrived. The Great Delano Grape Strike had begun. At the heart of the strike were workers demands to improve appalling working conditions in the fields and to raise wages to a level where the workers could feed their families. The stakes were high; most were migrants who constantly followed the crops across the southwest with their families in tow. As the grapes began to ripen, tension between the growers and strikers increased. Armed security guards at first taunted the workers; then the insults turned to violence. Cesar Chaves, a young Mexican-American labor leader who had observed the success of Martin Luther King's non-violent civil rights movement in the South, took the lead in convincing the strikers not to fight with strikebreakers or ranchers. If they did, the police would descent on them with clubs and guns, the strike would be lost, and people might die. In March 1966 workers and their supporters began a pilgrimage that would take them from Delano to Sacramento to draw attention to their cause. When they started out they numbered a few hundred men, women and children. When they arrived at California's state capitol there were more than ten thousand. By July the strike had reached a new level. Strikebreakers were being brought in by growers from Texas and Mexico and were making deals with the Teamsters Union. The level of violence against the workers was increasing. The strikers and their supporters came up with a tactic that soon captured the imagination of consumers and well as activists around the country; they called for an international boycott of table grapes. The strikes and the boycott dragged on for the next two years. Concerned that the workers were growing impatient, Chavez decided he would begin a fast to renew a sense of hope and reinforce the power of nonviolence. The fast would become a turning point. On March 11, 1968, Senator Robert Kennedy celebrated his victory in the California primary at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Delores Huerta accompanied him to the stage where he gave a speech thanking her, Chavez and the union for their help. Moments later he was gunned down. The farm workers , volunteers and supporters were devastated. Their inspirational ally, Martin Luther King had been assassinated in April; now another tragedy. They they decided to redouble their efforts; they would send farm workers across the nation to tell their personal stories and win the hears of consumers. In July 1970, twenty eight of the major grape growers signed contracts with the union. The boycott had paid off; the Delano Grape strike was over and the farm workers had their first major victory.
 

Close