Why Farm Workers Suffer and How They Can Bring About Change
The January mass shooting in Half Moon Bay brought to light the intolerable conditions in which farmworkers often still live and work. Almost 40 years after Cesar Chavez’s renowned 1984 Commonwealth Club speech, his successor as president of the United Farm Workers Union, Teresa Romero, joins us to discuss the hardships and exploitation agricultural laborers face. She will address the progress achieved by the United Farm Workers Union, and the important work that remains to be done to improve their work and living conditions.
The first Latina and first immigrant woman to become president of a national union in the United States, in 2018 Teresa Romero became only the third president of the United Farm Workers since Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta founded the union in 1962. Rising through the ranks of the UFW after arriving in this country without speaking English, she is proud of both her U.S. citizenship and her Mexican and Zapotecan heritage.
Most recently, Romero led farm workers in a campaign—including a grueling 24-day, 335-mile march up the Central Valley to Sacramento in the searing heat of summer—that last year convinced Governor Newsom to sign a UFW-backed law making it easier for farm workers to vote in union elections free from abuse and intimidation.
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Photo courtesy the speaker.
President of the United Farm Workers Union
Irene de Barraicua
Director of Operations and Communications, Líderes Campesinas—Moderator