¡Sí Se Puede! Hispanic Heritage Month Spotlight on César Chávez & the UFW
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A transcript of, "A Dialogue with Congress" by César Chávez

Title: A transcript of, A Dialogue with Congress by César Chávez
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The following is the second part of a transcript of a public Congressional hearing from October 1, 1969 with United Farm Workers (UFW) director César Chávez, members of his staff, and a bipartisan panel of members of the U.S. House of Representatives. The purpose of this hearing was for Chávez to report on the state of the farmworker movement amid its unionization efforts. With Rep. James G. O'Hara (D-Mich.) presiding over the hearing, Rep. John H. Dent (D-PA.), Rep. William A. Steiger (R-Wisc.), Rep. William J. Scherele (R-Iowa), Rep. Roman C. Pucinski (D-Ill.), and Rep. William D. Ford (D-Mich.), question Chávez on issues ranging from unionization efforts amid various legal constraints, pesticides and related worker health concerns, and the UFW position on illegal and legal immigration. In the context of answering these queries, Chávez and United Farm Workers Organizing Committee (UFWOC) attorney Jerome Cohen explain the relationship of these issues to growers' attempts to thwart UFW efforts at organization.

MR. DENT: Thank you. First of all, let me say it is good to see you again, Cesar.

It has been almost a year since we were out in California. Has there been an increase or decrease in the number of green card holders employed by the grape growers compared with what there were last year when we got the statistics?

MR. CHAVEZ: I think it has increased. Most of the people now working in the vineyards are green carders. This is the easiest place for the employers to get strike breakers. And they are taking advantage of it. They are not going to let go of that foreign work force until either we lose the strike or are able to negotiate a contract and get the local people back on their jobs.

MR. DENT: Now, the green carders are non-citizens but they enjoy full rights here except those political rights which have a relationship to the Constitution of the United states and the Constitution of California. Isn't it true that the green card program has really been a dodge to circumvent the law we passed against continuation of braceros?

MR. CHAVEZ: That is right. They are able to take work in America however poor the wages may be, and then go back to Mexico and live pretty well in that economy while workers in this country suffer badly from the low wages.

The other thing that many people don't really know, is that a large number of those green card holders are small businessmen themselves. They have taxicabs, small farms, bars, and restaurants in Mexico.

MR. DENT: Apparently there has been no limit to the number of green cards issued. Is that true?

MR. CHAVEZ: There is no limit to the amount of workers that can come across the border, provided they have a card; there is absolutely no limit.

We estimate that during the months beginning in October and going through April or May, something like.40,000 to 50,000 green carders cross the border in California daily.

CONGRESSMAN WILLIAM A. STEIGER. (R-WISC.): I want to correct the record of Mr. Cohen. The Administration bill does not exempt farm workers. The bill provides for an exemption of those who employ less than what would be the equivalent of 7 men in a quarter.

I would anticipate that that may be amended by the committee. Further, it seems to me that that would cover by and large most of the employers in California who have large holdings.

MR. O'HARA: If I may further make a small contribution to that, the Administration bill exempts those growers not using more than 500 man-days of labor in any given quarter of the previous calendar year. As we learned when we were reviewing legislation dealing with farm workers last year, the Administration bill exempts something like 99 or 98 per cent of all farms, leaving just 1 or 2 per cent covered.

But it is an overstatement, which I will confess I have been guilty of, to say that the Administration bill totally exempts farms, because it doesn't--not quite.

MR. COHEN: When the Wagner Act was passed it covered most of the workers and excluded the farm workers who did not get the benefit of it. Now you want to pass a safety and occupational bill that does not include all workers. When it comes to the problem of pesticide poisoning, all farm workers suffer from it.

When they are mixing the stuff, small growers, the very small growers you would exempt, never rely on commercial applicators who do have somewhat more expertise. So the people working in the smallest operations are running the highest risks.

MR. O'HARA: Yesterday, before a subcommittee of the Education and Labor Committee, a representative of the American Farm Bureau Federation asked that we amend occupational health and safety bills to remove the use of pesticides from their coverage.

Would you care to react to that?

MR. COHEN: The Food and Drug Administration themselves testified that there were between 80,000 and 90,000 injuries in this country every year related to the use of poisons, and between 800 and 1100 deaths. To exclude pesticides would be absurd.

MR. O'HARA: The Farm Bureau Federation said they felt that the federal labeling requirements plus state laws created a workable system of protecting the farm workers.

Are you acquainted with the operation of the state laws?

MR. COHEN: The state law in California, yes. Let's take Parathion. Currently in California there is a regulation that says that if you put one pound of parathion on an acre of grapes or on any crop, the crew must wait 14 to 20 days before it goes into the field.

One of the men responsible for promulgating that legislation was a man named Mr. Lennon from the State Department of Agriculture. He himself has written articles about poisonings that have occured in the Delano area where the crew had gone in 33 days later.

He has no explanation for that disparity., Furthermore, the basic information we need, the record on what the growers are using and when they are using it, is not available to the public. Those records are only kept for commercial applicators. In terms of smaller growers, or growers that do their own spraying, they don't have to account to any state agency concerning what they use and when they use it and in what amounts.

CONGRESSMAN WILLIAM J. SCHERLE (R-IOWA): I am not quite certain as to how many members of Congress are actually dirt farmers. But I know that I am one of the few. I have used herbicides, I have used insecticides, I have used pesticides many times without a mask, many times without rubber gloves, and to my knowledge, I don't know of any physical problem that I have because of use of these various insecticides, pesticides.

In fact, I am the smallest one in my family. So maybe we thrive on them. I don't know. But by the same token, I think some of the great danger that we apparently see in trying to legislate has to do more with unionization that it does with the dangers involved.

We use all of the various methods of weed control and pest control on my farm in Iowa. We use a hand spray. We use the airplane. We use the tank. You name it, we use it.

In fact, I would hate to farm without them anymore. We have almost thrown our cultivators away. In that general area of which I am very familiar, I don't know of any known case where again my neighbors or my friends have been affected.

And while I was a member of the state legislature, we passed one of the most stringent, restrictive pesticide laws I think in the entire country. I think this belongs in the hands of the states and not in the hands of the Federal Government.

It seems like no one is satisfied any more unless you bring it to Washington. I completely abhor that idea of centralization of power in government.

I have some other questions that I would like to pose later on. But as far as pesticides go, we need them. We use them. But I would hate to think for one minute that the danger that we see in pesticides by the controls that are offered, that we use this as a means to attain an end. I think it would be very unfortunate.

MR. COHEN: I would like to respond to that. The implication is, I think, that pesticides are relatively safe. I want to repeat that a spokesman for the Food and Drug Administration says we have 80,000 to 90,000 pesticide injuries every year, and 800 to 1,100 deaths.

MR. O'HARA: Excuse me. Mr. Scherle, Mr. Cohen has again cited the figures of the Food and Drug Administration, showing 800 to 1,100 deaths per year caused by pesticides and 80,000 to 90,000 injuries. Do you question the figures?

MR. SCHERLE: I would like to see the statistics which actually probably make up the results and I am sure that the people in this room might be surprised as to what all is involved as far as these figures are concerned. No, I don't buy them as far as farm pesticides are concerned.

I am sure you will find these probably maybe in the manufacturing, maybe in the distribution, or maybe other areas that may be entirely foreign to agriculture and particularly to grapes.

MR. COHEN: In Tulare County just north of Delano, the state is conducting a survey on farm workers health specifically as it relates to pesticide poisoning. One of the interviewers has shown us extensive data on 774 workers, 469 of whom worked in the grapes and 295 who had not worked in the grapes. The survey showed the following:

548 workers reported irritations, 141 reported nausea/and vomiting, 145 reported unusual fatigue, 159 unusual perspiration, 309 headaches, 115 dizziness, 249 skin irritations. And it goes on and on and on--bloody noses, diarrhea, difficulty in breathing, swollen hands and feet, loss of hair. Of the 774 workers, only 121 reported no symptoms. Some 163 reported having five or more of those symptoms. So I think we are dealing with a substantial problem. You can't shove it under the rug.

I don't think the state of California is doing an adequate job of protecting the worker. We can't even get the information as to what poisons the growers are using.

CONGRESSMAN ROMAN C. PUCINSKI (D-ILL.): That is a very disturbing report you have. If these pesticides are doing this to the workers, I wonder what effect they are having on the consumer? Perhaps we ought to have the Food and Drug Administration give us a report on that?

MR. CHAVEZ: Protecting the workers in the field will lead to more and better protection for the consumer.

MR. PUCINSKI: I am not familiar with the corporate structure of the grape industry. But what percentage of this industry would you say is owned by large corporations?

MR. COHEN: Off hand, I think over 65 per cent of the vineyards are controlled by corporations, but also there are some very large holdings by partnerships and individuals--holdings of 4,000 and 5,000 acres and more.

The average size of Delano area farms is increasing very rapidly and already less than 10 per cent of the farms produce over two thirds of the harvest. For example, the Giumarra family controls at least two corporations and a partnership which are worth more than $25 million. Their vineyards corporation has over $12 million in annual sales from farming 12,000 acres of grapes. Giumarra grows by gobbling up small companies that are in debt either to Giumarra directly, or to the banks and box companies in which Giumarra has big interests. It is not small family farms we are trying to organize.

MR. PUCINSKI: When we worked with the minimum wage law, we excluded crews in the lumber industry of 14 men or smaller. Suddenly we found a rash of 14-man-crew employers. When we excluded small mines from the mine safety laws, all of a sudden we discovered a whole rash of small mines.

Congressman Johnny Dent and I were in some mines a couple of years ago and we found one man who owned 87 separate companies, each of them mining one small mine.

I believe that is really the inherent danger in the Administration Occupational Health and Safety bill. Whenever you start providing exclusions there is a tendency to restructure the corporate organization to avoid coming under these acts.

Is that possible in this industry, if we were to accept the Administration recommendations?

MR. COHEN: Take the example of the Department of Interior's 160-acre land limitation, under which federal reclamation water is supposed to be provided to farms of under 160 acres at well below cost. Giant corporations get the cheap water because on paper they split themselves up into numerous separate entities.

MR. PUCINSKI: You would suggest, then, it would not be wise for Congress to try to deal with these numerical quotas?

MR. COHEN: Yes.

MR. SCHERLE: If you actually believe that a large farm operation that hires 100, 200, 300 people to operate that farm will break down into segments to where you have 3 or more employees, I think that is just a little ridiculous.

MR. PUCINSKI: We don't believe this. The record of that kind of activity is there, and you just can't refute that record.

MR. SCHERLE: Not to that extent.

MR. PUCINSKI: Yes, it is. I just got through telling you. Several years ago we were considering the minimum wage law and a group of loggers from the South came in and gave us a big spiel about how you know we would drive the little business men out of business if we did not have an exclusion.

The fact of the matter is that when the Education and Labor Committee went along with the 14-man exclusion, we suddenly discovered that we had excluded the whole logging industry from the Minimum Wage Act.

MR. SCHERLE: I am now a farm operator. I could not possibly break my operation down to three-man outfits. It would break me up in business to do that. The paper work would be insurmountable.

MR. PUCINSKI: I want to tell you, the record is there for everyone to see ---

MR. SCHERLE: You are no farmer so you can't talk about agriculture.

MR. O'HARA: Mr. Pucinski, let me just say that I don't dispute your right as a non-farmer to get involved in this. When it comes to that, I have spent a lot of hours in this room listening to Mr. Scherle talk about students, and I never objected to that.

MR. PUCINSKI: I think my good friend from Iowa talks about being a dirt farmer, but I honestly don't think he has held a piece of dirt in his hand up there on that great mechanized farm of his in twenty years.

MR. SCHERLE: I think as a matter of record, I think you will find that you could not be any more wrong than the statement made by the chairman a moment ago.

MR. PUCINSKI: Mr. Chavez, I understand that there are some employers who have wanted to work out an acceptable agreement with you.

MR. CHAVEZ: That is right.

MR. PUCINSKI: What happened to those people?

MR. CHAVEZ: Congressman, a group of small grape growers want to sign a contract with the union, but have told us that if they sign a contract with the union they won't be able to sell their grapes to the big shippers or get financing from the big banks.

We had small employers coming in at the height of the strike in the Coachella Valley in the early part of the summer and saying, "we would like very much to sign the contract," and even telling us "the moment you sign a contract with the big operators it will be safe for us and we'll be right there to sign. We gain nothing by being in a struggle with the union."

I wanted to respond to a previous comment about state-level action that you raised, Congressman Scherle. The reason we are in Washington with our problems is because we have not been able to get Governor Reagan to pay any attention to us.

MR. SCHERLE: I have got to interrupt there for this reason, Mr. Chavez. Will you explain why after years of organizing efforts you just can't seem to gain anything?

I have an article here before me that is dated June 22, 1969, which says the very people that you are trying to organize don't want any part of it. According to the financial figures filed with the U.S. Department of Labor, your group had only 2190 dues paying members in all of the United states in 1967.

Why, some of these people are making $95 a week. What more can you give them?

MR. CHAVEZ: We have more members than that but if you would like to see the union have more members, I think that you should get some of the growers in California to stop fighting us and more of our members and supporters will show up on the rosters.

If you would like, we can show you the cards of thousands of people who have signed up with the union giving us their authorization to represent them as their sale bargaining agent in all matters concerning wages, hours, and working conditions.

MR. O'HARA: Mr. Chavez, may I suggest that if any of the growers think that you don't represent their employees, it would be to their advantage to agree to an election.

MR. CHAVEZ: Yes, that is right. For example, at the Giumarra Corporation, we had ninety per cent of the workers signed up. We have the cards to prove that they wanted a union. They were forced to go on strike because the employer wouldn't recognize the union, wouldn't even talk to us, and wouldn't have an election.

So the parties who are supplying the information to you, Mr. Scherle, have forgotten to say that we have made this proposition to the Giumarra Corporation: Let us have an election. If the union loses the election, we will leave your farms in peace. If we win the election, all we want is for you to negotiate with us in good faith.

MR. SCHERLE: Is your final objective to have compulsory unionism? Is this what you are after?

MR. CHAVEZ: I think that the real issue here is for the growers in California to recognize the dignity of workers.

MR. SCHERLE: Would you like to answer my question?

MR. CHAVEZ: Sure I will.

MR. SCHERLE: Is this your supreme effort? Is this what the whole thing is about, to get compulsory unionism?

MR. CHAVEZ: I don't know what you mean by compulsory unionism. I think a union shop is a very good arrangement.

MR. SCHERLE: Let me read something to you that I think maybe you will appreciate. On February 8th of this year you were quoted in a Washington Post news story stating that the growers are smearing you by saying the issue was compulsory unionism, and by saying that the boycott is to try to force unionism on the workers who don't really want it. You said the only demand is that the companies agree to sit down and discuss ways and means of recognizing your union and then make plans to make negotiations.

Yet on April 10th, at a Delano press conference, you freely admitted that compulsory unionism was your goal. The respected San Francisco Examiner editorialized the next day that Chavez is talking of language to force compulsory unionism. This is the man so lavishly praised as a labor idealist?

MR. O'HARA: When Mr. Scherle talks of "compulsory unionism," what he means is the standard "union shop" provision. This is where a majority of the workers in a particular bargaining unit have voted to have the union represent them and the union then in fact represents every worker in that bargaining unit. In that arrangement, under the law, the employer and the labor organization can agree to a provision in their contract that says that a newly hired employee will either become a union member and pay dues after he has been employed for a certain period of time, or, if he objects to union membership, he will tender the equivalent of the dues to the union.

MR. CHAVEZ: That is what we have in every contract. Even though we have that kind of clause, when we found a few workers who did not want to join the union, we did not force them to join the union and we exempted them from paying dues. We had about 8 of them. All we asked them to do was to take $3.50 a month, the same amount as our dues, and give it to a worthy institution. They are now giving their money to the Red Cross.

There are a very few workers who may not want to become union members immediately. We are not going to hassle over them. This has a lot to do with the whole question of racism in agriculture. All of those eight were white workers. We have not seen a black or brown worker who does not want the union. Anglos who aren't paying dues apparently don't want to belong to the United Farm Workers because there is a Mexican leading the union and not because it is a union.

MR. PUCINSKI: May I finish my line of questioning about the small growers that have wanted to sign a contract and wanted to move on with an orderly procedure of growing and picking grapes?

Has the U.S. Attorney or anyone else examined the possibility of anti-trust action against those who prohibit the small farmers from signing contracts with your union and from proceeding with the orderly operations?

It seems to me that there appears to be this sort of conspiracy by the large growers to restrain these small growers. I would think that this is something that the Justice Department ought to be looking into, to see whether or not there are violations of the anti-trust act here.

Has this been done?

MR. CHAVEZ: No, it has not been done. But not only the small growers but those 12 growers that wanted to negotiate with us were under a lot of pressure and heat. So it takes a grower not only the courage to live up to the responsibility of permitting workers to have a union, it takes double courage to be able to face their own when they are getting this tremendous pressure to not recognize the union.

I want to have Mr. Cohen demonstrate to the good congressmen a real example of "compulsory unionism."

MR. COHEN: Mr. John Giumayra, spokesman for the table grape industry, had a meeting on June 3, 1968, at a restaurant which was appropriately named "Sambo's" in Bakersfield. He had some workers at this meeting. He told those workers that they had to join a union which he called the "Agricultural Workers Freedom to Work Association." Mr. Giamarra and Mr. Jack Pandol , a Delano grower who is an officer of the California Right to Work Committee, and other growers got together and dreamed up this union.

We did not originate this statement of fact. It is the testimony of two officers of the Agricultural Workers Freedom to Work Association, which was submitted under oath in an activities and agreement report required by the Office of Labor Management and Welfare-Pension of the U.S. Department of Labor:

The growers funded this union directly. They also set up an organization called MADRA, the "Mexican-American Democrats for Republican Action." But when they required their workers to join AWFWA, most of the workers in the field would not join because they had already signed representation cards with the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee. The employers tried.to have the workers join the company union indirectly by having the foremen sign up for their crews. That is compulsory unionism.

MR. SCHERLE: Let me ask a question at that point. How much money is the AFL-CIO contributing to you a month?

MR. CHAVEZ: We get a cash contribution of $10,000 a month plus other services.

MR. SCHERLE: The AFL-CIO contributes to your group $10,000 a month?

MR. CHAVEZ: Plus other services.

MR. SCHERLE: Let me ask you one more question. Why is the UFWOC against the incentive payment for grape workers during the picking season?

MR. CHAVEZ: We don't feel that a human being has to be subjected to the kind of speed-up work that they have to do in-order to earn a dollar in the fields under the piece-rate incentive. If you were to see, Congressman, the sweat and the crucifying work that these men, women and children have to go through when they are put on the incentive plan, you would yourself be against it.

We are against farm piece-work rates now. We will be against them as long as we live.

We think that the only proper and human way of freeing workers is by putting them on an hourly rate so they know beforehand how much they are going to earn.

This is the only way--human way--of doing work.

MR. SCHERLE: Actually you are against so called piece-work?

MR. CHAVEZ: Specifically, we are against the way it is manipulated. For example, for almost 20 years the University of California has provided the citrus industry with a whole slate of complicated piece rates. Every size, every color, every variety, every season, every operation, every region and area has a different piece rate. It is so complicated that if I worked today I would not know until three days from now how much I earned, and I would never know if I was cheated.

MR. SCHERLE: Mr. Chavez, when I worked in a factory the so-called incentive system was in effect at that time. But we called it piece work.

The more you produced the more you earned. I never thought that was so wrong. Even going to school there was the same identical thing. I don't know of anything that does not create some sort of incentives as far as employment is concerned.

Why would you be against paying these people 25 cents additional during the picking season? I think you are defeating your own purpose.

MR. CHAVEZ: The workers voted on all of these questions. We are only doing what the workers tell us.

MR. PUCINSKI: Mr. Chavez, my colleague here makes it sound as if you are opposed to helping people make money.

MR. BURTON: The real question is whether Mr. Scherle's services are available to help the union negotiate their next contract.

MR. PUCINSKI: Do I understand the crux of your struggle here as your trying to get your people a decent wage across the board instead of only during the peaks of employment?

Is that right?

MR. CHAVEZ: That is right.

MR. PUCINSKI: You try to give them a living wage right across the board?

MR. CHAVEZ: That is right. We are also very concerned about the statistics on the life expectancy of migrant workers and farm workers--49 years as against 72 for everybody else in America. We grow old too early because of crucifying work at piece rates.

We do have piece rates in our current contracts. It is a system that grew up with agriculture in California. But gradually it must be changed in such a way that workers can know how much they are going to earn if they work so many hours.

CONGRESSMAN WILLIAM D. FORD (D-MICH.): In the spirit that has been established, I would like to not presume that as a member of the Labor Committee I have any expertise in this field, but I did spend two summers immediately before going into the service in World War II picking cherries with the migrant workers who come in large numbers to our state of Michigan every year. I remember seeing families where everybody who was old enough to walk had to work in order to make enough money so that the family could load up their old car and go back down South when we were through with them at the end of the picking season.

We in Michigan do not look down at the people in California, because we have nothing to be proud of in our state. We have made little progress since the time I worked in the fields in the 1940's.

Michigan is stlll the third largest user--and I use the word purposely--"user" of migrant workers in the country. We are one of the outstanding industrial states and have made as much or more progress than any other state in the union in acquiring a decent standard of living and decent working conditions for industrial workers. But it has been impossible to get an intransigent legislature to protect the worker in the fields.

Last month the Education and Labor Committee had hearings on the problem of the foreign resident coming into this country and being used as a strike breaker. I looked at the hearing record a few minutes ago and noted that the gentleman who testified for the United States Immigration Service was unable, under cross-examination by several members of the committee, to give us any real data on what impact the people crossing the border had on the farm workers strikes in California and Texas. We had a lot of figures given to us. It was very interesting to note that they knew exactly how many people came north from Mexico in November of each year, even though they admitted that that was not the time of the year that most people came, especially farm workers. But they had not been able to put the figures together for other times in the year.

From what you said a little while ago, Cesar, I got the impression that your people have had an opportunity to observe what is happening first hand. You stated that 90 per cent of the workers in a struck area would be made up of green card holders and illegal immigrants. Unfortunately, a green card holder in fact can be a resident of another country. He can leave his wife and children and his home behind and still hold a green card under the definition in our immigration law.

Can you tell us of any indication of overt recruiting of Mexican nationals by employers for the purpose of replacing a worker who was engaged in a strike or engaged in organizing activities?

MR. COHEN: Let me give you just one of many examples. The Giumarra Vineyards Corporation is the largest grower in the Bakersfield area. In 1967 after their ranch was struck by their regular workers, they had a system of about 35 crew foremen who would go down through Mexicali, illegally recruit people and bring them back.

We had so much information detailing what they were doing that we obtained a preliminary injunction against their practice from the Kern County Superior Court, which does not happen to our side very often. We had affidavits that showed the growers had not lived up to their legal duty to obey a California law that requires potential workers to be informed when a labor dispute is in progress.

This summer members of UFWOC followed five busloads and assorted pick-up trucks full of commuter farm workers from Calexico. The buses stopped at farms on the certified strike list. The commuters were interviewed as they got off the buses. They did not know they were going to struck ranches, but once they got there, they had the choice of spending 8 hours sitting in the bus with no pay in addition to the 5 hours they had spent getting hired and traveling. They really had no choice.

When strike-breakers come in to farm workers' communities from Mexico, not only do they prevent organizing, they also avoid the obligations of American residents.

I would like to show you some typical evidence regarding the failure of farmworkers living in Lamont, where Giumarra has his vineyards, to file tax returns. All of these people spend part of the year living in Mexico.

U.S. Treasury Department
Internal Revenue Service
District Director
July 9, 1968

RE: your request dated June 21, 1968
LeRoy Chatfield
United Farm Workers Organization Committee, AFL-CIO
Delano, Calif.

*Our records for 1966 and 1967 indicate for the lists of taxpayers as follows:
No-No record
Yes-Record on file
There is a charge of $1 per copy for each page copied and $1 for certification of copy if requested. A bill for the copies provided will be mailed to you

Very truly yours,

CHIEF, TAXPAYER SERVICE

Name
Address
City
1967
1966
Renaldi G. Trevino
9808 Kenmore Ave
Lamont
No
No
Ronaldo G. Trevino
do
do
No
No
Ivan R. Rodriguez
9905 Kenmore Ave
do
No
No
Miguel Ramos (570-42-3466)
do
do
No
N.R.
Paula Ramos
do
do
No
N.R.
Francisco Varela (463-42-8945)
9912 Houston Ave
do
No
No
Roberto R. Salinas (552-60-6810)
do
do
Yes
No
Guadalupe Sanchez
do
do
Yes
Yes
Eli Santiago
do
do
No
No
Emilia Ramos
9716 1/2 Houston Ave
do
No
No
Alfonso Rea
10000 Habecker Rd
do
No
No
Alfonso Rea, Jr.
do
do
No
No
Raul Valdez
10317 Habecker Rd
do
No
No
Jesus Reyes (458-09-9011-0)
11317 Rose St
do
No
Yes
Maria M. Reyes (572-50-5347-0)
do
do
No
Yes
Valentin Vela and Alicia (541-58-7093)
8321 Bonita St
do
N.R.
Yes
Cruz Rodriguez
8713 Bonita St
do
No
No
Estevina C. Ramos
8201 Bernard St
do
No
No
Gladys C. Ramos
do
do
No
No
Mike V. Rivera
8605 Paradise
do
No
No
Guadalupe Rodriguez
9713 Paradise Rd
do
No
No
Maria del S. Romero (557-80-2440-0)
9917 Myrtle Ave
do
Yes
Yes
Olivia L. Romero
do
do
No
No
Oralia L. Romero
do
do
No
No
Ricardo Soza
8412 Panama Rd
do
No
No
Fidel Valenzuela
863 Panama Rd
do
N.R.
No
Leonardo Solis
8600 School St
do
No
No
Santos S. Soriano and Saledady (548-20-5772-0)
371 Laurel Ave
do
No
Yes
Daniel Valles
9708 Elmco Ave
do
N.R.
No
Pedro Valles
9708 Elmidio Ave
do
N.R.
No
Matilde Velasco
10420 Tatum St
do
No
No
Bobby Saco
9812 Primrose
do
No
No
Reynaldo Valdez
Box 113
do
N.R.
No
Juan Rendon
Post Office Box 135
do
No
No
Elvira Reyna
Post Office Box 136
do
No
No
Marcario Rendon
do
do
No
No
Maria L. Rendon
do
do
No
No
Modesto Rendon
do
do
No
No


MR. FORD: A few months ago there was an article in a Sunday supplement about a practice, particularly in Texas, of recruiting illegals and working them. Then suddenly for some reason the Border Patrol discovered where they were staying and they were dragged off before they could collect their pay checks.

Is that something that has only happened in Texas?

MR. CHAVEZ: This is something that has happened always and has happened in California. We also know of a very convenient arrangement in the Coachella Valley with the Coachella Growers Association.

A hundred wetbacks are picked up; then they are put in jail and held there as witnesses. Then they are farmed out to the Coachella Growers Association and forced to work in the fields while they are waiting to testify. We had such a camp in Coachella and a camp in, I believe, San Bernardino County. We don't know how many other such camps exist. It is unbelievable what they are doing to the work force.

MR. FORD: I have one final question, a brief question. One of our Michigan state senators, who happens to have a district within my Congressional district where we don't grow any grapes, is now the national chairman of a so-called Consumer Rights Committee headquartered not in Michigan, but here in Washington.

I have heard conflicting stories about their activities. I understand that thus far, their concern for the consumer has been limited entirely to the consumers of table grapes grown in California.

I wonder if this organization and their activities have come to your attention and if you might be able to supply Mr. O'Hara and I such information as you might have about who they are, and what they are doing, and who is financing them. I wonder particularly what special interest this has for the agriculture we have in the state of Michigan?

MR. CHAVEZ: We will be able to supply this material. [ed: see appendix].

We also wonder who is paying the cost of that huge operation. We consider that to be a direct interference with the strike and we think they should be subject to the Disclosure Act.

Courtesy of the Farmworker Movement Documentation Project

 

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