Chavez as an Activist

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Chavez's Efforts for Better Working Conditions

Chavez is popularly known for the efforts he made in the ensuring that the thousands of farmworker gained better working conditions. The activist in question used various methods to air the unfavorable conditions in which the workers were compelled to work in the farms. One and the primary tactic that he employed was the peaceful demonstrations that helped him negotiate various contracts with the grape producers for better treatment of the farm workers as well as higher wages (Dobbie 240). As a child born of migrants in California, he saw his parents struggle in the farms with low wages as well as pathetic working conditions and decided to try his best and change the situation of the workers in the farms.

Lessons Learned from Childhood

The activist's family went through a hard time when he was growing up which taught him some essential lessons. For example, he learned about justice and injustice simultaneously when they had to vacate the land after a contract that had been made to his father was breached. The father went to a lawyer who advised him to borrow money and buy the land, however, the interest was too much for him, and when he failed to pay, the lawyer took advantage, paid the interest and then sold the land to the other individual (Dobbie 241). The unfairness to which their family was treated and vacated from the land made him realize the essence of fairness and justice that would help him later in life to be an activist. Notably, it is also argued that his childhood history must have taught him the value of persistence as well as patience that he later used in the peaceful protests including hunger strikes that lasted for as long as thirty-six days with water only.

The Vision for Farm Workers

In 1984, he laid out the vision he had for the worker in the farms stating that he had a goal of overthrowing the country's system of farm labor, which prompted the laborers to be treated in a manner suggesting they are not critical human beings. In other words, he advocated for justice whose value he had learned correctly. The announcement came way after several actions done by the activist for the sake of the farm laborers. After he dropped out of the 8th grade as a result of poverty because of the small wages given to his parents at the farms of California, he joined the farm workers in the back-breaking for the same low wages (Dobbie 242). However, determined to improve the status at hand, he founded the National Workers Association in 1962, which later became the United Farm Workers. The activist used the movement that he had founded to lead the Delano grape strike that lasted five years form 1965. Further, another lesson he learned from the exploitation of the minority like the Anglos did to the Mexican Americans was to organize, which he did through founding the union after discovering how to work with people.

Understanding Poverty and Religious Organizations

Notably, Chavez must have learned the effects of poverty on the several citizens who could not speak out for their rights to be reserved. A clear example of the adverse impacts of poverty was his family that lost forty acres of land because they could not pay the loan used to rebuy the piece of land (Dobbie 243). Besides, he was also forced to drop out of school and start working in the farms before joining the navy when he was seventeen. Therefore, he was driven by the two major lessons of his life which if addressed would make the workers be treated as critical human beings.

Markedly, Chavez considered the religious organizations to be essential in the process of fighting for both justices as well as eradication of poverty through better wages and fairness in the treatment of the worker because of the religious publication. The religious publication played a significant role in the struggle for better wedges as well as improved working conditions. For example, in the Delano Grape Strike that started in 1965, the religious press depicted the movement to be of great significance because it helped the workers to air their grievances (Dobbie 244). On the other hand, the religious press failed to express the conservative opposition as well as any pushbacks against the union. Furthermore, the religious press offered both sympathetic as well as positive accounts that consisted of the farm workers as well as their boycott, which was depicted to be founded out of the struggle for union representation, better wedges, as well as improved conditions of working. Besides the religious press' widespread coverage, the Catholic Bishops in the United States abandoned their neutral positions and intervened by acting as mediators in the dispute, a move that was also advantageous to the union of workers.

The Success of Activist Chavez

Ultimately, activist Chavez was successful in his primary goal of making working conditions of the farm workers better as well as gaining an increase in wedges through the persistence in peaceful protests that included marching, hunger strikes as well as boycotts. The organization that he had founded in 1962 helped to negotiate several contracts for the farm workers and also spearheaded the landmark law, which made California farmworker to be entitled to the union activity that was protected (Dobbie 245). Further, he gave the individuals a sense of their power, which made the workers in question to discover their ability to demand both better wedges as well as dignity. Therefore, through the aforementioned achievements that he made through persistence, consultations, learning how to work with individuals as well as his past life experience make me believe that the activist was successful.

Work Cited

Dobbie, David. "Book Review: Beyond The Fields: Cesar Chavez, The UFW, And The Struggle For Justice In The 21St Centuryshawr. (2008). Beyond The Fields: Cesar Chavez, The UFW, And The Struggle For Justice In The 21St Century. Berkeley: University Of California Press. 361 Pp. $24.95 (Cloth)". Work And Occupations, vol 37, no. 2, 2010, pp. 240-245. SAGE Publications, doi:10.1177/0730888410366211.

November 13, 2023

Sociology World


United States

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