Tradicionalni recepti

Cesar Chavez, američki heroj

Cesar Chavez, američki heroj

Ovog ponedjeljka, 31. marta, obilježava se Dan Cesara Chaveza. Dan u čast Chavezu - američkom poljoprivrednom radniku, radničkom vođi, pedagogu, borcu za građanska prava, osnivaču United Farm Workers (UFW) i heroju. Evo pet ključnih kampanja koje se bore za prava radnika u prehrambenom sistemu i nastavljaju Chavezovo naslijeđe za socijalnu pravdu, jednakost, poštene plaće i sigurnu hranu za sve.


Cesar Chavez: Istinski američki heroj

Cesar Chavez. (Fotografija: Wikimedia) Nadam se da ćemo svi zastati i razmisliti o izvanrednom životu pravog američkog heroja danas (31. marta). Dan je Cesara Chaveza, koji je proglasio predsjednik Obama i obilježava se u cijeloj zemlji na 85. rođendan pokojnog osnivača sindikata Ujedinjenih poljoprivrednih radnika. Zvanični je državni praznik u Kaliforniji, Teksasu i Koloradu.

Kao što je predsjednik Obama primijetio, Chavez je bio lider u pokretanju "jednog od najinspirativnijih pokreta naše nacije". Naučio nas je, dodao je Obama, „da socijalna pravda poduzima akcije, nesebičnost i predanost. Dok se suočavamo s izazovima dana, učinimo to s nadom i odlučnošću Cezara Chaveza. ”

Kao i drugi američki heroj, Martin Luther King Jr., Chavez je inspirisao i energizirao milione ljudi širom svijeta da traže i osvoje osnovna ljudska prava koja su im dugo bila uskraćivana, te je inspirirao milione drugih ljudi da se pridruže borbi.

Svakako da postoji malo ljudi u bilo kojoj oblasti koja zaslužuje posebnu pažnju, zasigurno nikoga nisam sreo u više od pola stoljeća izvještavanja o radu.

Prvi put sam upoznao Cezara Chaveza dok sam pokrivao rad za San Francisco Chronicle. Bilo je to jedne vrele letnje noći 1965. godine u gradiću Delano u Kaliforniji u dolini San Joaquin. Chavez, sa sjajnom crnom kosom na čelu, u zelenoj kariranoj košulji koja je postala gotovo uniforma, sjedio je iza improviziranog stola na vrhu jarkocrvene Formice.

"Si se puede", ponovio mi je, vrlo skeptičan izvještač, dok smo razgovarali duboko u rane jutarnje sate u pretrpanoj kolibi koja je služila kao sjedište njemu i ostalima koji su pokušavali stvoriti efikasan sindikat radnika na farmi .

“Si se puede! - to se može! "

Ali ne bih bio pokoleban. Previše je drugih, tijekom previše godina, pokušalo i nije uspjelo da zadobije za sindikalne radnike sindikalna prava koja su apsolutno morali imati da bi izbjegli tešku ekonomsku i socijalnu deprivaciju koju su im zadali njihovi poslodavci.

Industrijski radnici svijeta koji su jurišali na zapadna polja početkom 20. stoljeća, komunisti koji su ih slijedili, socijalisti, organizatori AFL -a i CIO -a - svi su njihovi napori propali pod nemilosrdnim pritiskom uzgajivača i njihovih moćnih političkih saveznika.

Bio sam siguran da ovaj napor neće biti drugačiji. Pogriješio sam. Nisam računao na taktičku briljantnost, kreativnost, hrabrost i običnu tvrdoglavost Cesara Chaveza, čovjeka tužnih očiju, razoružavajuće blagog govora koji je mirnim, odmjerenim tonovima govorio o militantnosti, nježnog i nevjerojatno strpljivog čovjeka koji je krio velike strateške ciljeve talent iza stidljivih osmeha i stav krajnje iskrenosti.

Chavez je shvatio bitnu činjenicu da su se poljoprivredni radnici morali sami organizirati. Vanjski organizatori, koliko god imali dobre namjere, to nisu mogli učiniti. Chavez, koji je i sam bio poljoprivredni radnik, pažljivo je sastavio lokalnu organizaciju koja je omogućila radnicima da formiraju vlastiti sindikat, koji je potom tražio-i osvojio-široku podršku uticajnih autsajdera.

Ključno oružje organizacije, novoproglašene Ujedinjene poljoprivredne radnike, ili UFW, bio je bojkot. Bio je toliko efikasan između 1968. i 1975. godine da je 12 posto odrasle populacije u zemlji - to je 17 miliona ljudi - prestalo kupovati stolno grožđe.

Bojkot grožđa UFW -a i drugi protiv vinarija i uzgajivača salate dobili su prve ugovore o sindikatu u istoriji 1970. To je dovelo do donošenja pet godina kasnije kalifornijskog zakona - ujedno i prvog - koji od uzgajivača zahtijeva kolektivno pregovaranje sa radnicima koji glasaju za sindikalnu organizaciju . To je dovelo do značajnih poboljšanja u plaćama, beneficijama, radnim uvjetima i općem statusu državnih poljoprivrednika. Slični zakoni, sa sličnim rezultatima, sada su doneseni na drugim mjestima.

Borba koja je konačno dovela do pobjede bila je izuzetno teška za osiromašene radnike, a Chavez je riskirao svoje zdravlje - ako ne i život - kako bi im pružio ekstremne primjere žrtava neophodnih za pobjedu. Najvažnije je da se on bavio dugim, glasno objavljenim postima koji su pomogli u okupljanju javnosti u korist radnika na farmi i koji su itekako mogli doprinijeti njegovoj preuranjenoj smrti 1993. godine u 66.

Posti, bojkoti. Nije slučajno što su to bili glavni alati Mohandasa Gandhija, jer je Chavez svoju inspiraciju crpio od hinduističkog vođe. Kao i Gandhi i još jedan od njegovih modela, Martin Luther King Jr., Chavez je žarko vjerovao u taktiku nenasilja. Poput njih, pokazao je svijetu koliko duboko mogu biti učinkoviti u traženju pravde čak i od najmoćnijih protivnika.

"Naše tijelo i duh i pravda našeg cilja su naše oružje", objasnio je Chavez.

Njegovu ikoničnu poziciju nedavno su doveli u pitanje autsajderi koji tvrde da je Chavez u posljednjim godinama kao šef UFW -a djelovao kao diktator. No, ono što je UFW postigao pod njegovim vodstvom i kako je sindikat to postigao, nikada neće biti zaboravljeno - ni milioni društvenih aktivista koji su bili inspirirani i podstaknuti borbom poljoprivrednih radnika, niti sami radnici.

Chavez je zasluženo ostao, i nesumnjivo će uvijek ostati, američka ikona koja je dovela do osvajanja važnih zakonskih prava za poljoprivredne radnike. Ali više od sindikalnih ugovora i više od zakona, poljoprivredni radnici sada imaju ono što je Cesar Chavez inzistirao da je potrebno prije svega. To mi je, kako mi je rekao prije toliko godina, “značilo da radnici istinski vjeruju i razumiju i znaju da su slobodni, da su slobodni muškarci i žene, da mogu ustati i boriti se za svoja prava”.

Sloboda. Nijedan vođa nikada nije ostavio veće naslijeđe. Ali borba se nastavlja. Uprkos pobjedama UFW -a, poljoprivrednim radnicima je velika potreba da u potpunosti ostvare prava stečena pod Chavezovim vodstvom. Moraju preokrenuti ono što je posljednjih godina opadalo u bogatstvu UFW -a, djelomično uzrokovano slabim provođenjem zakona koji su sindikalnim radnicima dodijelili prava.

Mnogi poljoprivredni radnici i dalje su u siromaštvu, a njihova plaća i radni i životni uslovi su nacionalna sramota. U prosjeku imaju manje od 10.000 dolara godišnje i imaju malo - ako ih ima - dodatnih beneficija. Oni pate od sezonske nezaposlenosti.

Zaštita posla je rijetka, jer su mnogi radnici očajno siromašni imigranti iz Meksika ili Centralne Amerike koji moraju uzeti sve što im se nudi ili ih zamijeniti drugi očajno siromašni radnici iz beskrajnog imigrantskog toka. Dječiji rad je u velikom porastu.

Većina zapošljavanja i otpuštanja obavlja se po volji poslodavaca, od kojih su mnogi bogati korporacijski uzgajivači ili izvođači radova koji jednostrano postavljaju plaću i uslove rada, a na drugi način djeluju proizvoljno.

Radnici su često izloženi opasnim pesticidima i drugim ozbiljnim zdravstvenim i sigurnosnim opasnostima zbog kojih je rad na farmi jedno od najopasnijih zanimanja u zemlji. Često im čak nedostaju pogodnosti na poslu poput svježe vode za piće i poljski toaleti, pa su gotovo uvijek prisiljene živjeti u prenatrpanim, ozbiljno nekvalitetnim stanovima.

Dan Cesara Chaveza trebao bi nas podsjetiti na stalnu potrebu poduzimanja snažnih pravnih koraka i drugih radnji u korist radnika na farmi - pomoći im da prebrode svoje bijedne uvjete i konačno osigurati pristojan život svima onima koji rade težak, prljav i opasan posao koji stavlja voće i povrće na naše stolove.

Ukratko, moramo nastaviti ono što je započeo Cesar Chavez. Njegovo sjećanje nismo mogli odati veće poštovanje.


Cesar Chavez: Istinski američki heroj

Cesar Chavez. (Fotografija: Wikimedia) Nadam se da ćemo svi zastati i razmisliti o izvanrednom životu pravog američkog heroja danas (31. marta). Dan je Cesara Chaveza, koji je proglasio predsjednik Obama i obilježava se u cijeloj zemlji na 85. rođendan pokojnog osnivača sindikata Ujedinjenih poljoprivrednih radnika. Zvanični je državni praznik u Kaliforniji, Teksasu i Koloradu.

Kao što je predsjednik Obama primijetio, Chavez je bio lider u pokretanju "jednog od najinspirativnijih pokreta naše nacije". Naučio nas je, dodao je Obama, „da socijalna pravda poduzima akcije, nesebičnost i predanost. Dok se suočavamo sa izazovima današnjice, učinimo to s nadom i odlučnošću Cezara Chaveza. ”

Kao i drugi američki heroj, Martin Luther King Jr., Chavez je inspirisao i energizirao milione ljudi širom svijeta da traže i osvoje osnovna ljudska prava koja su im dugo bila uskraćena, te je inspirisao milione drugih ljudi da se pridruže borbi.

Svakako da postoji malo ljudi u bilo kojoj oblasti koja zaslužuje posebnu pažnju, zasigurno nikoga nisam sreo u više od pola stoljeća izvještavanja o radu.

Prvi put sam upoznao Cezara Chaveza dok sam pokrivao rad za San Francisco Chronicle. Bilo je to jedne vrele letnje noći 1965. godine u gradiću Delano u Kaliforniji u dolini San Joaquin. Chavez, sa sjajnom crnom kosom na čelu, u zelenoj kariranoj košulji koja je postala gotovo uniforma, sjedio je iza improviziranog stola na vrhu jarko crvene Formice.

"Si se puede", ponovio mi je, vrlo skeptičan izvještač, dok smo razgovarali duboko u rane jutarnje sate u pretrpanoj kolibi koja je služila kao sjedište njemu i ostalima koji su pokušavali stvoriti efikasan sindikat radnika na farmi .

“Si se puede! - to se može! "

Ali ne bih bio pokoleban. Previše je drugih, tijekom previše godina, pokušalo i nije uspjelo da zadobije za sindikalne radnike sindikalna prava koja su apsolutno morali imati da bi izbjegli tešku ekonomsku i socijalnu deprivaciju koju su im zadali njihovi poslodavci.

Industrijski radnici svijeta koji su jurišali na zapadna polja početkom 20. stoljeća, komunisti koji su ih slijedili, socijalisti, organizatori AFL -a i CIO -a - svi su njihovi napori propali pod nemilosrdnim pritiskom uzgajivača i njihovih moćnih političkih saveznika.

Bio sam siguran da ovaj napor neće biti drugačiji. Pogriješio sam. Nisam računao na taktičku briljantnost, kreativnost, hrabrost i običnu tvrdoglavost Cesara Chaveza, čovjeka tužnih očiju, razoružavajuće blagog govora koji je mirnim, odmjerenim tonovima govorio o militantnosti, nježnog i nevjerojatno strpljivog čovjeka koji je krio velike strateške ciljeve talent iza stidljivih osmeha i stav krajnje iskrenosti.

Chavez je shvatio bitnu činjenicu da su se poljoprivredni radnici morali sami organizirati. Vanjski organizatori, koliko god imali dobre namjere, to nisu mogli učiniti. Chavez, koji je i sam bio poljoprivredni radnik, pažljivo je sastavio lokalnu organizaciju koja je omogućila radnicima da formiraju vlastiti sindikat, koji je potom tražio-i osvojio-široku podršku uticajnih autsajdera.

Ključno oružje organizacije, novoproglašene Ujedinjene poljoprivredne radnike, ili UFW, bio je bojkot. Bio je toliko efikasan između 1968. i 1975. godine da je 12 posto odrasle populacije u zemlji - to je 17 miliona ljudi - prestalo kupovati stolno grožđe.

Bojkot grožđa UFW -a i drugi protiv vinarija i uzgajivača salate osvojili su prve ugovore o sindikatu u istoriji 1970. To je dovelo do donošenja pet godina kasnije kalifornijskog zakona - ujedno i prvog - koji od uzgajivača zahtijeva kolektivno pregovaranje sa radnicima koji glasaju za sindikalnu organizaciju . To je dovelo do značajnih poboljšanja u plaćama, beneficijama, radnim uvjetima i općem statusu državnih poljoprivrednika. Slični zakoni sa sličnim rezultatima sada su doneseni na drugim mjestima.

Borba koja je konačno dovela do pobjede bila je izuzetno teška za osiromašene radnike, a Chavez je riskirao svoje zdravlje - ako ne i život - kako bi im pružio ekstremne primjere žrtava neophodnih za pobjedu. Najvažnije je da se on bavio dugim, glasno objavljenim postima koji su pomogli u okupljanju javnosti u korist radnika na farmi i koji su itekako mogli doprinijeti njegovoj preuranjenoj smrti 1993. godine u 66.

Posti, bojkoti. Nije slučajno što su to bili glavni alati Mohandasa Gandhija, jer je Chavez svoju inspiraciju crpio od hinduističkog vođe. Kao i Gandhi i još jedan od njegovih modela, Martin Luther King Jr., Chavez je žarko vjerovao u taktiku nenasilja. Poput njih, pokazao je svijetu koliko duboko mogu biti učinkoviti u traženju pravde čak i od najmoćnijih protivnika.

"Naše tijelo i duh i pravda našeg cilja su naše oružje", objasnio je Chavez.

Njegovu ikoničnu poziciju nedavno su doveli u pitanje autsajderi koji tvrde da je Chavez u posljednjim godinama kao šef UFW -a djelovao kao diktator. No, ono što je UFW postigao pod njegovim vodstvom, i kako je sindikat to postigao, nikada neće biti zaboravljeno - ni milioni društvenih aktivista koji su bili inspirirani i podstaknuti borbom poljoprivrednih radnika, niti sami radnici.

Chavez je zasluženo ostao, i nesumnjivo će uvijek ostati, američka ikona koja je dovela do osvajanja važnih zakonskih prava za poljoprivredne radnike. Ali više od sindikalnih ugovora i više od zakona, poljoprivredni radnici sada imaju ono što je Cesar Chavez inzistirao da je potrebno prije svega. To mi je, kako mi je rekao prije toliko godina, “značilo da radnici istinski vjeruju i razumiju i znaju da su slobodni, da su slobodni muškarci i žene, da mogu ustati i boriti se za svoja prava”.

Sloboda. Nijedan vođa nikada nije ostavio veće naslijeđe. Ali borba se nastavlja. Uprkos pobjedama UFW -a, poljoprivrednim radnicima je velika potreba da u potpunosti ostvare prava stečena pod Chavezovim vodstvom. Moraju preokrenuti ono što je posljednjih godina opadalo u bogatstvu UFW -a, djelomično uzrokovano slabim provođenjem zakona koji su sindikalnim radnicima dodijelili prava.

Mnogi poljoprivredni radnici i dalje su u siromaštvu, njihova plaća i radni i životni uvjeti su nacionalna sramota. U prosjeku imaju manje od 10.000 dolara godišnje i imaju malo - ako ih ima - dodatnih beneficija. Oni pate od sezonske nezaposlenosti.

Zaštita posla je rijetka, jer su mnogi radnici očajno siromašni imigranti iz Meksika ili Centralne Amerike koji moraju uzeti sve što im se nudi ili ih zamijeniti drugi očajno siromašni radnici iz beskrajnog imigrantskog toka. Dječiji rad je u velikom porastu.

Većina zapošljavanja i otpuštanja obavlja se po volji poslodavaca, od kojih su mnogi bogati korporacijski uzgajivači ili izvođači radova koji jednostrano postavljaju plaću i uslove rada, a na drugi način djeluju proizvoljno.

Radnici su često izloženi opasnim pesticidima i drugim ozbiljnim zdravstvenim i sigurnosnim opasnostima zbog kojih je rad na farmi jedno od najopasnijih zanimanja u zemlji. Često im čak nedostaju pogodnosti na poslu poput svježe vode za piće i poljski toaleti, pa su gotovo uvijek prisiljene živjeti u prenatrpanim, ozbiljno nekvalitetnim stanovima.

Dan Cesara Chaveza trebao bi nas podsjetiti na stalnu potrebu poduzimanja snažnih zakonskih koraka i drugih radnji u korist radnika na farmi - pomoći im da prebrode svoje bijedne uvjete i konačno osigurati pristojan život svima onima koji rade težak, prljav i opasan posao koji stavlja voće i povrće na naše stolove.

Ukratko, moramo nastaviti ono što je započeo Cesar Chavez. Njegovo sjećanje nismo mogli odati veće poštovanje.


Cesar Chavez: Istinski američki heroj

Cesar Chavez. (Fotografija: Wikimedia) Nadam se da ćemo svi zastati i razmisliti o izvanrednom životu pravog američkog heroja danas (31. marta). Dan je Cesara Chaveza, koji je proglasio predsjednik Obama i obilježava se u cijeloj zemlji na 85. rođendan pokojnog osnivača sindikata Ujedinjenih poljoprivrednih radnika. Zvanični je državni praznik u Kaliforniji, Teksasu i Koloradu.

Kao što je predsjednik Obama primijetio, Chavez je bio lider u pokretanju "jednog od najinspirativnijih pokreta naše nacije". Naučio nas je, dodao je Obama, „da socijalna pravda poduzima akcije, nesebičnost i predanost. Dok se suočavamo s izazovima dana, učinimo to s nadom i odlučnošću Cezara Chaveza. ”

Kao i drugi američki heroj, Martin Luther King Jr., Chavez je inspirisao i energizirao milione ljudi širom svijeta da traže i osvoje osnovna ljudska prava koja su im dugo bila uskraćena, te je inspirisao milione drugih ljudi da se pridruže borbi.

Svakako da postoji malo ljudi u bilo kojoj oblasti koja zaslužuje posebnu pažnju, zasigurno nikoga nisam sreo u više od pola stoljeća izvještavanja o radu.

Prvi put sam upoznao Cezara Chaveza dok sam pokrivao rad za San Francisco Chronicle. Bilo je to jedne vrele letnje noći 1965. godine u gradiću Delano u Kaliforniji u dolini San Joaquin. Chavez, sa sjajnom crnom kosom na čelu, u zelenoj kariranoj košulji koja je postala gotovo uniforma, sjedio je iza improviziranog stola na vrhu jarkocrvene Formice.

"Si se puede", ponovio mi je, vrlo skeptičan izvještač, dok smo razgovarali duboko u rane jutarnje sate u pretrpanoj kolibi koja je služila kao sjedište njemu i ostalima koji su pokušavali stvoriti efikasan sindikat radnika na farmi .

“Si se puede! - to se može! "

Ali ne bih bio pokoleban. Previše je drugih, tijekom previše godina, pokušalo i nije uspjelo da zadobije za sindikalne radnike sindikalna prava koja su apsolutno morali imati da bi izbjegli tešku ekonomsku i socijalnu deprivaciju koju su im zadali njihovi poslodavci.

Industrijski radnici svijeta koji su jurišali na zapadna polja početkom 20. stoljeća, komunisti koji su ih slijedili, socijalisti, organizatori AFL -a i CIO -a - svi su njihovi napori propali pod nemilosrdnim pritiskom uzgajivača i njihovih moćnih političkih saveznika.

Bio sam siguran da ovaj napor neće biti drugačiji. Pogriješio sam. Nisam računao taktičku briljantnost, kreativnost, hrabrost i običnu tvrdoglavost Cesara Chaveza, čovjeka tužnih očiju, razoružavajuće blagog govora koji je mirnim, odmjerenim tonovima govorio o militantnosti, nježnog i nevjerojatno strpljivog čovjeka koji je krio velike strateške ciljeve talent iza stidljivih osmeha i stav krajnje iskrenosti.

Chavez je shvatio bitnu činjenicu da su se poljoprivredni radnici morali sami organizirati. Vanjski organizatori, koliko god imali dobre namjere, to nisu mogli učiniti. Chavez, koji je i sam bio poljoprivredni radnik, pažljivo je osnovao lokalnu organizaciju koja je omogućila radnicima da formiraju vlastiti sindikat, koji je potom tražio-i dobio-široku podršku uticajnih autsajdera.

Ključno oružje organizacije, novoproglašene Ujedinjene poljoprivredne radnike, ili UFW, bio je bojkot. Bio je toliko efikasan između 1968. i 1975. godine da je 12 posto odrasle populacije u zemlji - to je 17 miliona ljudi - prestalo kupovati stolno grožđe.

Bojkot grožđa UFW -a i drugi protiv vinarija i uzgajivača salate dobili su prve ugovore o sindikatu u istoriji 1970. To je dovelo do donošenja pet godina kasnije kalifornijskog zakona - ujedno i prvog - koji od uzgajivača zahtijeva kolektivno pregovaranje sa radnicima koji glasaju za sindikalnu organizaciju . To je dovelo do značajnih poboljšanja u plaćama, beneficijama, radnim uvjetima i općem statusu državnih poljoprivrednika. Slični zakoni sa sličnim rezultatima sada su doneseni na drugim mjestima.

Borba koja je konačno dovela do pobjede bila je izuzetno teška za osiromašene radnike, a Chavez je riskirao svoje zdravlje - ako ne i život - kako bi im pružio ekstremne primjere žrtava neophodnih za pobjedu. Najvažnije je da se bavio dugim, glasno objavljenim postima koji su pomogli u okupljanju javnosti u korist radnika na farmi i koji su itekako mogli doprinijeti njegovoj preuranjenoj smrti 1993. godine u 66.

Posti, bojkoti. Nije slučajno što su to bili glavni alati Mohandasa Gandhija, jer je Chavez svoju inspiraciju crpio od hinduističkog vođe. Kao i Gandhi i još jedan od njegovih modela, Martin Luther King Jr., Chavez je žarko vjerovao u taktiku nenasilja. Poput njih, pokazao je svijetu koliko duboko mogu biti učinkoviti u traženju pravde čak i od najmoćnijih protivnika.

"Naše tijelo i duh i pravda našeg cilja su naše oružje", objasnio je Chavez.

Njegovu ikoničnu poziciju nedavno su doveli u pitanje autsajderi koji tvrde da je Chavez u posljednjim godinama kao šef UFW -a djelovao kao diktator. No, ono što je UFW postigao pod njegovim vodstvom i kako je sindikat to postigao, nikada neće biti zaboravljeno - ni milioni društvenih aktivista koji su bili inspirirani i podstaknuti borbom poljoprivrednih radnika, niti sami radnici.

Chavez je zasluženo ostao, i nesumnjivo će uvijek ostati, američka ikona koja je dovela do osvajanja važnih zakonskih prava za poljoprivredne radnike. Ali više od sindikalnih ugovora i više od zakona, radnici na farmi sada imaju ono što je Cesar Chavez inzistirao da je potrebno prije svega. To mi je, kako mi je rekao prije toliko godina, “značilo da radnici istinski vjeruju i razumiju i znaju da su slobodni, da su slobodni muškarci i žene, da mogu slobodno ustati i boriti se za svoja prava”.

Sloboda. Nijedan vođa nikada nije ostavio veće naslijeđe. Ali borba se nastavlja. Uprkos pobjedama UFW -a, poljoprivrednim radnicima je velika potreba da u potpunosti ostvare prava stečena pod Chavezovim vodstvom. Moraju preokrenuti ono što je posljednjih godina opadalo u bogatstvu UFW -a, djelomično uzrokovano slabim provođenjem zakona koji su sindikalnim radnicima dodijelili prava.

Mnogi poljoprivredni radnici i dalje su u siromaštvu, a njihova plaća i radni i životni uslovi su nacionalna sramota. U prosjeku imaju manje od 10.000 dolara godišnje i imaju malo - ako ih ima - dodatnih beneficija. Oni pate od sezonske nezaposlenosti.

Zaštita posla je rijetka, jer su mnogi radnici očajno siromašni imigranti iz Meksika ili Centralne Amerike koji moraju uzeti sve što im se nudi ili ih zamijeniti drugi očajno siromašni radnici iz beskrajnog imigrantskog toka. Dječiji rad je u velikom porastu.

Većina zapošljavanja i otpuštanja obavlja se po volji poslodavaca, od kojih su mnogi bogati korporacijski uzgajivači ili izvođači radova koji jednostrano postavljaju plaću i uslove rada, a na drugi način djeluju proizvoljno.

Radnici su često izloženi opasnim pesticidima i drugim ozbiljnim zdravstvenim i sigurnosnim opasnostima zbog kojih je rad na farmi jedno od najopasnijih zanimanja u zemlji. Često im čak nedostaju pogodnosti na poslu poput svježe vode za piće i poljski toaleti, pa su gotovo uvijek prisiljene živjeti u prenatrpanim, ozbiljno nekvalitetnim stanovima.

Dan Cesara Chaveza trebao bi nas podsjetiti na stalnu potrebu poduzimanja snažnih pravnih koraka i drugih radnji u korist radnika na farmi - pomoći im da prebrode svoje bijedne uvjete i konačno osigurati pristojan život svima onima koji rade težak, prljav i opasan posao koji stavlja voće i povrće na naše stolove.

Ukratko, moramo nastaviti ono što je započeo Cesar Chavez. Njegovo sjećanje nismo mogli odati veće poštovanje.


Cesar Chavez: Istinski američki heroj

Cesar Chavez. (Fotografija: Wikimedia) Nadam se da ćemo svi zastati i razmisliti o izvanrednom životu pravog američkog heroja danas (31. marta). Dan je Cesara Chaveza, koji je proglasio predsjednik Obama i obilježava se u cijeloj zemlji na 85. rođendan pokojnog osnivača sindikata Ujedinjenih poljoprivrednih radnika. Zvanični je državni praznik u Kaliforniji, Teksasu i Koloradu.

Kao što je predsjednik Obama primijetio, Chavez je bio lider u pokretanju "jednog od najinspirativnijih pokreta naše nacije". Naučio nas je, dodao je Obama, „da socijalna pravda poduzima akcije, nesebičnost i predanost. Dok se suočavamo s izazovima dana, učinimo to s nadom i odlučnošću Cezara Chaveza. ”

Kao i drugi američki heroj, Martin Luther King Jr., Chavez je inspirisao i energizirao milione ljudi širom svijeta da traže i osvoje osnovna ljudska prava koja su im dugo bila uskraćena, te je inspirisao milione drugih ljudi da se pridruže borbi.

Svakako da postoji malo ljudi u bilo kojoj oblasti koja zaslužuje posebnu pažnju, zasigurno nikoga nisam sreo u više od pola stoljeća izvještavanja o radu.

Prvi put sam upoznao Cezara Chaveza dok sam pokrivao rad za San Francisco Chronicle. Bilo je to jedne vrele letnje noći 1965. godine u gradiću Delano u Kaliforniji u dolini San Joaquin. Chavez, sa sjajnom crnom kosom na čelu, u zelenoj kariranoj košulji koja je postala gotovo uniforma, sjedio je iza improviziranog stola na vrhu jarkocrvene Formice.

"Si se puede", ponovio mi je, vrlo skeptičan izvještač, dok smo razgovarali duboko u rane jutarnje sate u pretrpanoj kolibi koja je služila kao sjedište njemu i ostalima koji su pokušavali stvoriti efikasan sindikat radnika na farmi .

“Si se puede! - to se može! "

Ali ne bih bio pokoleban. Previše je drugih, tijekom previše godina, pokušalo i nije uspjelo da zadobije za sindikalne radnike sindikalna prava koja su apsolutno morali imati da bi izbjegli tešku ekonomsku i socijalnu deprivaciju koju su im zadali njihovi poslodavci.

Industrijski radnici svijeta koji su jurišali na zapadna polja početkom 20. stoljeća, komunisti koji su ih slijedili, socijalisti, organizatori AFL -a i CIO -a - svi su njihovi napori propali pod nemilosrdnim pritiskom uzgajivača i njihovih moćnih političkih saveznika.

Bio sam siguran da ovaj napor neće biti drugačiji. Pogriješio sam. Nisam računao taktičku briljantnost, kreativnost, hrabrost i običnu tvrdoglavost Cesara Chaveza, čovjeka tužnih očiju, razoružavajuće blagog govora koji je mirnim, odmjerenim tonovima govorio o militantnosti, nježnog i nevjerojatno strpljivog čovjeka koji je krio velike strateške ciljeve talent iza stidljivih osmeha i stav krajnje iskrenosti.

Chavez je shvatio bitnu činjenicu da su se poljoprivredni radnici morali sami organizirati. Vanjski organizatori, koliko god imali dobre namjere, to nisu mogli učiniti. Chavez, koji je i sam bio poljoprivredni radnik, pažljivo je osnovao lokalnu organizaciju koja je omogućila radnicima da formiraju vlastiti sindikat, koji je potom tražio-i dobio-široku podršku uticajnih autsajdera.

Ključno oružje organizacije, novoproglašene Ujedinjene poljoprivredne radnike, ili UFW, bio je bojkot. Bio je toliko efikasan između 1968. i 1975. godine da je 12 posto odrasle populacije u zemlji - to je 17 miliona ljudi - prestalo kupovati stolno grožđe.

Bojkot grožđa UFW -a i drugi protiv vinarija i uzgajivača salate dobili su prve ugovore o sindikatu u istoriji 1970. To je dovelo do donošenja pet godina kasnije kalifornijskog zakona - ujedno i prvog - koji od uzgajivača zahtijeva kolektivno pregovaranje sa radnicima koji glasaju za sindikalnu organizaciju . To je dovelo do značajnih poboljšanja u plaćama, beneficijama, radnim uvjetima i općem statusu državnih poljoprivrednika. Slični zakoni, sa sličnim rezultatima, sada su doneseni na drugim mjestima.

Borba koja je konačno dovela do pobjede bila je izuzetno teška za osiromašene radnike, a Chavez je riskirao svoje zdravlje - ako ne i život - kako bi im pružio ekstremne primjere žrtava neophodnih za pobjedu. Najvažnije je da se on bavio dugim, glasno objavljenim postima koji su pomogli u okupljanju javnosti u korist radnika na farmi i koji su itekako mogli doprinijeti njegovoj preuranjenoj smrti 1993. godine u 66.

Posti, bojkoti. Nije slučajno što su to bili glavni alati Mohandasa Gandhija, jer je Chavez svoju inspiraciju crpio od hinduističkog vođe. Kao i Gandhi i još jedan od njegovih modela, Martin Luther King Jr., Chavez je žarko vjerovao u taktiku nenasilja. Poput njih, pokazao je svijetu koliko duboko mogu biti učinkoviti u traženju pravde čak i od najmoćnijih protivnika.

"Naše tijelo i duh i pravda našeg cilja su naše oružje", objasnio je Chavez.

Njegovu ikoničnu poziciju nedavno su doveli u pitanje autsajderi koji tvrde da je Chavez u posljednjim godinama kao šef UFW -a djelovao kao diktator. No, ono što je UFW postigao pod njegovim vodstvom, i kako je sindikat to postigao, nikada neće biti zaboravljeno - ni milioni društvenih aktivista koji su bili inspirirani i podstaknuti borbom poljoprivrednih radnika, niti sami radnici.

Chavez je zasluženo ostao, i nesumnjivo će uvijek ostati, američka ikona koja je dovela do osvajanja važnih zakonskih prava za poljoprivredne radnike. Ali više od sindikalnih ugovora i više od zakona, poljoprivredni radnici sada imaju ono što je Cesar Chavez inzistirao da je potrebno prije svega. To mi je, kako mi je rekao prije toliko godina, “značilo da radnici istinski vjeruju i razumiju i znaju da su slobodni, da su slobodni muškarci i žene, da mogu slobodno ustati i boriti se za svoja prava”.

Sloboda. Nijedan vođa nikada nije ostavio veće naslijeđe. Ali borba se nastavlja. Uprkos pobjedama UFW -a, poljoprivrednim radnicima je velika potreba da u potpunosti ostvare prava stečena pod Chavezovim vodstvom. Moraju preokrenuti ono što je posljednjih godina opadalo u bogatstvu UFW -a, djelomično uzrokovano slabim provođenjem zakona koji su sindikalnim radnicima dodijelili prava.

Mnogi poljoprivredni radnici i dalje su u siromaštvu, njihova plaća i radni i životni uvjeti su nacionalna sramota. U prosjeku imaju manje od 10.000 dolara godišnje i imaju malo - ako ih ima - dodatnih beneficija. Oni pate od sezonske nezaposlenosti.

Zaštita posla je rijetka, jer su mnogi radnici očajno siromašni imigranti iz Meksika ili Centralne Amerike koji moraju uzeti sve što im se nudi ili ih zamijeniti drugi očajno siromašni radnici iz beskrajnog imigrantskog toka. Dječiji rad je u velikom porastu.

Većina zapošljavanja i otpuštanja obavlja se po volji poslodavaca, od kojih su mnogi bogati korporativni uzgajivači ili izvođači radova koji jednostrano postavljaju plaću i uslove rada i na drugi način djeluju proizvoljno.

Radnici su često izloženi opasnim pesticidima i drugim ozbiljnim zdravstvenim i sigurnosnim opasnostima zbog kojih je rad na farmi jedno od najopasnijih zanimanja u zemlji. Često im čak nedostaju pogodnosti na poslu poput svježe vode za piće i poljski toaleti, pa su gotovo uvijek prisiljene živjeti u prenatrpanim, ozbiljno nekvalitetnim stanovima.

Dan Cesara Chaveza trebao bi nas podsjetiti na stalnu potrebu poduzimanja snažnih zakonskih koraka i drugih radnji u korist radnika na farmi - pomoći im da prebrode svoje bijedne uvjete i konačno osigurati pristojan život svima onima koji rade težak, prljav i opasan posao koji stavlja voće i povrće na naše stolove.

Ukratko, moramo nastaviti ono što je započeo Cesar Chavez. Njegovo sjećanje nismo mogli odati veće poštovanje.


Cesar Chavez: Istinski američki heroj

Cesar Chavez. (Fotografija: Wikimedia) Nadam se da ćemo svi zastati i razmisliti o izvanrednom životu pravog američkog heroja danas (31. marta). Dan je Cesara Chaveza, koji je proglasio predsjednik Obama i obilježava se u cijeloj zemlji na 85. rođendan pokojnog osnivača sindikata Ujedinjenih poljoprivrednih radnika. Zvanični je državni praznik u Kaliforniji, Teksasu i Koloradu.

Kao što je predsjednik Obama primijetio, Chavez je bio lider u pokretanju "jednog od najinspirativnijih pokreta naše nacije". He taught us, Obama added, “that social justice takes action, selflessness and commitment. As we face the challenges of the day, let us do so with the hope and determination of Cesar Chavez.”

Like another American hero, Martin Luther King Jr., Chavez inspired and energized millions of people worldwide to seek and win basic human rights that had long been denied them, and inspired millions of others to join the struggle.

Certainly there are few people in any field more deserving of special attention, certainly no one I’ve met in more than a half-century of labor reporting.

I first met Cesar Chavez when I was covering labor for the San Francisco Chronicle. It was on a hot summer night in 1965 in the little San Joaquin Valley town of Delano, California. Chavez, shining black hair trailing across his forehead, wearing a green plaid shirt that had become almost a uniform, sat behind a makeshift desk topped with bright red Formica.

“Si se puede,” he said repeatedly to me, a highly skeptical reporter, as we talked deep into the early morning hours there in the cluttered shack that served as headquarters for him and the others who were trying to create an effective farm workers union.

“Si se puede! – it can be done!”

But I would not be swayed. Too many others, over too many years, had tried and failed to win for farm workers the union rights they absolutely had to have if they were to escape the severe economic and social deprivation inflicted on them by their grower employers.

The Industrial Workers of the World who stormed across western fields early in the 20th century, the Communists who followed, the socialists, the AFL and CIO organizers – all their efforts had collapsed under the relentless pressure of growers and their powerful political allies.

I was certain this effort would be no different. I was wrong. I had not accounted for the tactical brilliance, creativity, courage and just plain stubbornness of Cesar Chavez, a sad-eyed, disarmingly soft-spoken man who talked of militancy in calm, measured tones, a gentle and incredibly patient man who hid great strategic talent behind shy smiles and an attitude of utter candor.

Chavez grasped the essential fact that farm workers had to organize themselves. Outside organizers, however well intentioned, could not do it. Chavez, a farm worker himself, carefully put together a grass-roots organization that enabled the workers to form their own union, which then sought out – and won – widespread support from influential outsiders.

The key weapon of the organization, newly proclaimed the United Farm Workers, or UFW, was the boycott. It was so effective between 1968 and 1975 that 12 percent of the country’s adult population – that’s 17 million people – quit buying table grapes.

The UFW’s grape boycott and others against wineries and lettuce growers won the first farm union contracts in history in 1970. That led to enactment five years later of the California law – also a first – that requires growers to bargain collectively with workers who vote for unionization. And that led to substantial improvements in the pay, benefits, working conditions and general status of the state’s farm workers. Similar laws, with similar results, have now been enacted elsewhere.

The struggle that finally led to victory was extremely difficult for the impoverished workers, and Chavez risked his health – if not his life – to provide them extreme examples of the sacrifices necessary for victory. Most notably, he engaged in lengthy, highly publicized fasts that helped rally the public to the farm workers’ cause and that may very well have contributed to his untimely death in 1993 at age 66.

Fasts, boycotts. It’s no coincidence that those were the principal tools of Mohandas Gandhi, for Chavez drew much of his inspiration from the Hindu leader. Like Gandhi and another of his models, Martin Luther King Jr., Chavez fervently believed in the tactics of non-violence. Like them, he showed the world how profoundly effective they can be in seeking justice from even the most powerful opponents.

“We have our bodies and spirits and the justice of our cause as our weapons,” Chavez explained.

His iconic position has been questioned recently by outsiders claiming Chavez acted as a dictator in his last years as head of the UFW. But what the UFW accomplished under his leadership, and how the union accomplished it, will never be forgotten – not by the millions of social activists who have been inspired and energized by the farm workers’ struggle, nor by the workers themselves.

Chavez deservedly remains, and undoubtedly will always remain, an American icon who led the way to winning important legal rights for farm workers. But more than union contracts, and more than laws, farm workers now have what Cesar Chavez insisted was needed above all else. That, as he told me so many years ago, “is to have the workers truly believe and understand and know that they are free, that they are free men and women, that they are free to stand up and fight for their rights.”

Freedom. No leader has ever left a greater legacy. But the struggle continues. Despite the UFW victories, farm workers are in great need of fully exercising the rights won under Chavez’ leadership. They need to reverse what has been a decline in the UFW’s fortunes in recent years, caused in part by lax enforcement of the laws that granted farm workers union rights.

Many farm workers are still mired in poverty, their pay and working and living conditions a national disgrace. They average less than $10,000 a year and have few – if any – fringe benefits. They suffer seasonal unemployment.

Job security is rare, as many of the workers are desperately poor immigrants from Mexico or Central America who must take whatever is offered or be replaced by other desperately poor workers from the endless stream of immigrants. Child labor is rampant.

Most hiring and firing is done at the whim of employers, many of them wealthy corporate growers or labor contractors who unilaterally set pay and working conditions and otherwise act arbitrarily.

Workers are often exposed to dangerous pesticides and other serious health and safety hazards that make farm work one of the country’s most dangerous occupations. They often even lack such on-the-job amenities as fresh drinking water and field toilets, and almost invariably are forced to live in overcrowded, seriously substandard housing.

Cesar Chavez Day should remind us of the continuing need to take forceful legal steps and other action in behalf of farm workers – to help them overcome their wretched conditions and finally provide a decent life for all those who do the hard, dirty and dangerous work that puts fruit and vegetables on our tables.

We need, in short, to carry on what Cesar Chavez began. We could pay no greater homage to his memory.


Cesar Chavez: A True American Hero

Cesar Chavez. (Photo: Wikimedia) I hope we can all pause and reflect on the extraordinary life of a true American hero today (March 31). It’s Cesar Chavez Day, proclaimed by President Obama and observed throughout the country on the 85th birth date of the late founder of the United Farm Workers union. It’s an official state holiday in California, Texas and Colorado.

As President Obama noted, Chavez was a leader in launching “one of our nation’s most inspiring movements.” He taught us, Obama added, “that social justice takes action, selflessness and commitment. As we face the challenges of the day, let us do so with the hope and determination of Cesar Chavez.”

Like another American hero, Martin Luther King Jr., Chavez inspired and energized millions of people worldwide to seek and win basic human rights that had long been denied them, and inspired millions of others to join the struggle.

Certainly there are few people in any field more deserving of special attention, certainly no one I’ve met in more than a half-century of labor reporting.

I first met Cesar Chavez when I was covering labor for the San Francisco Chronicle. It was on a hot summer night in 1965 in the little San Joaquin Valley town of Delano, California. Chavez, shining black hair trailing across his forehead, wearing a green plaid shirt that had become almost a uniform, sat behind a makeshift desk topped with bright red Formica.

“Si se puede,” he said repeatedly to me, a highly skeptical reporter, as we talked deep into the early morning hours there in the cluttered shack that served as headquarters for him and the others who were trying to create an effective farm workers union.

“Si se puede! – it can be done!”

But I would not be swayed. Too many others, over too many years, had tried and failed to win for farm workers the union rights they absolutely had to have if they were to escape the severe economic and social deprivation inflicted on them by their grower employers.

The Industrial Workers of the World who stormed across western fields early in the 20th century, the Communists who followed, the socialists, the AFL and CIO organizers – all their efforts had collapsed under the relentless pressure of growers and their powerful political allies.

I was certain this effort would be no different. I was wrong. I had not accounted for the tactical brilliance, creativity, courage and just plain stubbornness of Cesar Chavez, a sad-eyed, disarmingly soft-spoken man who talked of militancy in calm, measured tones, a gentle and incredibly patient man who hid great strategic talent behind shy smiles and an attitude of utter candor.

Chavez grasped the essential fact that farm workers had to organize themselves. Outside organizers, however well intentioned, could not do it. Chavez, a farm worker himself, carefully put together a grass-roots organization that enabled the workers to form their own union, which then sought out – and won – widespread support from influential outsiders.

The key weapon of the organization, newly proclaimed the United Farm Workers, or UFW, was the boycott. It was so effective between 1968 and 1975 that 12 percent of the country’s adult population – that’s 17 million people – quit buying table grapes.

The UFW’s grape boycott and others against wineries and lettuce growers won the first farm union contracts in history in 1970. That led to enactment five years later of the California law – also a first – that requires growers to bargain collectively with workers who vote for unionization. And that led to substantial improvements in the pay, benefits, working conditions and general status of the state’s farm workers. Similar laws, with similar results, have now been enacted elsewhere.

The struggle that finally led to victory was extremely difficult for the impoverished workers, and Chavez risked his health – if not his life – to provide them extreme examples of the sacrifices necessary for victory. Most notably, he engaged in lengthy, highly publicized fasts that helped rally the public to the farm workers’ cause and that may very well have contributed to his untimely death in 1993 at age 66.

Fasts, boycotts. It’s no coincidence that those were the principal tools of Mohandas Gandhi, for Chavez drew much of his inspiration from the Hindu leader. Like Gandhi and another of his models, Martin Luther King Jr., Chavez fervently believed in the tactics of non-violence. Like them, he showed the world how profoundly effective they can be in seeking justice from even the most powerful opponents.

“We have our bodies and spirits and the justice of our cause as our weapons,” Chavez explained.

His iconic position has been questioned recently by outsiders claiming Chavez acted as a dictator in his last years as head of the UFW. But what the UFW accomplished under his leadership, and how the union accomplished it, will never be forgotten – not by the millions of social activists who have been inspired and energized by the farm workers’ struggle, nor by the workers themselves.

Chavez deservedly remains, and undoubtedly will always remain, an American icon who led the way to winning important legal rights for farm workers. But more than union contracts, and more than laws, farm workers now have what Cesar Chavez insisted was needed above all else. That, as he told me so many years ago, “is to have the workers truly believe and understand and know that they are free, that they are free men and women, that they are free to stand up and fight for their rights.”

Freedom. No leader has ever left a greater legacy. But the struggle continues. Despite the UFW victories, farm workers are in great need of fully exercising the rights won under Chavez’ leadership. They need to reverse what has been a decline in the UFW’s fortunes in recent years, caused in part by lax enforcement of the laws that granted farm workers union rights.

Many farm workers are still mired in poverty, their pay and working and living conditions a national disgrace. They average less than $10,000 a year and have few – if any – fringe benefits. They suffer seasonal unemployment.

Job security is rare, as many of the workers are desperately poor immigrants from Mexico or Central America who must take whatever is offered or be replaced by other desperately poor workers from the endless stream of immigrants. Child labor is rampant.

Most hiring and firing is done at the whim of employers, many of them wealthy corporate growers or labor contractors who unilaterally set pay and working conditions and otherwise act arbitrarily.

Workers are often exposed to dangerous pesticides and other serious health and safety hazards that make farm work one of the country’s most dangerous occupations. They often even lack such on-the-job amenities as fresh drinking water and field toilets, and almost invariably are forced to live in overcrowded, seriously substandard housing.

Cesar Chavez Day should remind us of the continuing need to take forceful legal steps and other action in behalf of farm workers – to help them overcome their wretched conditions and finally provide a decent life for all those who do the hard, dirty and dangerous work that puts fruit and vegetables on our tables.

We need, in short, to carry on what Cesar Chavez began. We could pay no greater homage to his memory.


Cesar Chavez: A True American Hero

Cesar Chavez. (Photo: Wikimedia) I hope we can all pause and reflect on the extraordinary life of a true American hero today (March 31). It’s Cesar Chavez Day, proclaimed by President Obama and observed throughout the country on the 85th birth date of the late founder of the United Farm Workers union. It’s an official state holiday in California, Texas and Colorado.

As President Obama noted, Chavez was a leader in launching “one of our nation’s most inspiring movements.” He taught us, Obama added, “that social justice takes action, selflessness and commitment. As we face the challenges of the day, let us do so with the hope and determination of Cesar Chavez.”

Like another American hero, Martin Luther King Jr., Chavez inspired and energized millions of people worldwide to seek and win basic human rights that had long been denied them, and inspired millions of others to join the struggle.

Certainly there are few people in any field more deserving of special attention, certainly no one I’ve met in more than a half-century of labor reporting.

I first met Cesar Chavez when I was covering labor for the San Francisco Chronicle. It was on a hot summer night in 1965 in the little San Joaquin Valley town of Delano, California. Chavez, shining black hair trailing across his forehead, wearing a green plaid shirt that had become almost a uniform, sat behind a makeshift desk topped with bright red Formica.

“Si se puede,” he said repeatedly to me, a highly skeptical reporter, as we talked deep into the early morning hours there in the cluttered shack that served as headquarters for him and the others who were trying to create an effective farm workers union.

“Si se puede! – it can be done!”

But I would not be swayed. Too many others, over too many years, had tried and failed to win for farm workers the union rights they absolutely had to have if they were to escape the severe economic and social deprivation inflicted on them by their grower employers.

The Industrial Workers of the World who stormed across western fields early in the 20th century, the Communists who followed, the socialists, the AFL and CIO organizers – all their efforts had collapsed under the relentless pressure of growers and their powerful political allies.

I was certain this effort would be no different. I was wrong. I had not accounted for the tactical brilliance, creativity, courage and just plain stubbornness of Cesar Chavez, a sad-eyed, disarmingly soft-spoken man who talked of militancy in calm, measured tones, a gentle and incredibly patient man who hid great strategic talent behind shy smiles and an attitude of utter candor.

Chavez grasped the essential fact that farm workers had to organize themselves. Outside organizers, however well intentioned, could not do it. Chavez, a farm worker himself, carefully put together a grass-roots organization that enabled the workers to form their own union, which then sought out – and won – widespread support from influential outsiders.

The key weapon of the organization, newly proclaimed the United Farm Workers, or UFW, was the boycott. It was so effective between 1968 and 1975 that 12 percent of the country’s adult population – that’s 17 million people – quit buying table grapes.

The UFW’s grape boycott and others against wineries and lettuce growers won the first farm union contracts in history in 1970. That led to enactment five years later of the California law – also a first – that requires growers to bargain collectively with workers who vote for unionization. And that led to substantial improvements in the pay, benefits, working conditions and general status of the state’s farm workers. Similar laws, with similar results, have now been enacted elsewhere.

The struggle that finally led to victory was extremely difficult for the impoverished workers, and Chavez risked his health – if not his life – to provide them extreme examples of the sacrifices necessary for victory. Most notably, he engaged in lengthy, highly publicized fasts that helped rally the public to the farm workers’ cause and that may very well have contributed to his untimely death in 1993 at age 66.

Fasts, boycotts. It’s no coincidence that those were the principal tools of Mohandas Gandhi, for Chavez drew much of his inspiration from the Hindu leader. Like Gandhi and another of his models, Martin Luther King Jr., Chavez fervently believed in the tactics of non-violence. Like them, he showed the world how profoundly effective they can be in seeking justice from even the most powerful opponents.

“We have our bodies and spirits and the justice of our cause as our weapons,” Chavez explained.

His iconic position has been questioned recently by outsiders claiming Chavez acted as a dictator in his last years as head of the UFW. But what the UFW accomplished under his leadership, and how the union accomplished it, will never be forgotten – not by the millions of social activists who have been inspired and energized by the farm workers’ struggle, nor by the workers themselves.

Chavez deservedly remains, and undoubtedly will always remain, an American icon who led the way to winning important legal rights for farm workers. But more than union contracts, and more than laws, farm workers now have what Cesar Chavez insisted was needed above all else. That, as he told me so many years ago, “is to have the workers truly believe and understand and know that they are free, that they are free men and women, that they are free to stand up and fight for their rights.”

Freedom. No leader has ever left a greater legacy. But the struggle continues. Despite the UFW victories, farm workers are in great need of fully exercising the rights won under Chavez’ leadership. They need to reverse what has been a decline in the UFW’s fortunes in recent years, caused in part by lax enforcement of the laws that granted farm workers union rights.

Many farm workers are still mired in poverty, their pay and working and living conditions a national disgrace. They average less than $10,000 a year and have few – if any – fringe benefits. They suffer seasonal unemployment.

Job security is rare, as many of the workers are desperately poor immigrants from Mexico or Central America who must take whatever is offered or be replaced by other desperately poor workers from the endless stream of immigrants. Child labor is rampant.

Most hiring and firing is done at the whim of employers, many of them wealthy corporate growers or labor contractors who unilaterally set pay and working conditions and otherwise act arbitrarily.

Workers are often exposed to dangerous pesticides and other serious health and safety hazards that make farm work one of the country’s most dangerous occupations. They often even lack such on-the-job amenities as fresh drinking water and field toilets, and almost invariably are forced to live in overcrowded, seriously substandard housing.

Cesar Chavez Day should remind us of the continuing need to take forceful legal steps and other action in behalf of farm workers – to help them overcome their wretched conditions and finally provide a decent life for all those who do the hard, dirty and dangerous work that puts fruit and vegetables on our tables.

We need, in short, to carry on what Cesar Chavez began. We could pay no greater homage to his memory.


Cesar Chavez: A True American Hero

Cesar Chavez. (Photo: Wikimedia) I hope we can all pause and reflect on the extraordinary life of a true American hero today (March 31). It’s Cesar Chavez Day, proclaimed by President Obama and observed throughout the country on the 85th birth date of the late founder of the United Farm Workers union. It’s an official state holiday in California, Texas and Colorado.

As President Obama noted, Chavez was a leader in launching “one of our nation’s most inspiring movements.” He taught us, Obama added, “that social justice takes action, selflessness and commitment. As we face the challenges of the day, let us do so with the hope and determination of Cesar Chavez.”

Like another American hero, Martin Luther King Jr., Chavez inspired and energized millions of people worldwide to seek and win basic human rights that had long been denied them, and inspired millions of others to join the struggle.

Certainly there are few people in any field more deserving of special attention, certainly no one I’ve met in more than a half-century of labor reporting.

I first met Cesar Chavez when I was covering labor for the San Francisco Chronicle. It was on a hot summer night in 1965 in the little San Joaquin Valley town of Delano, California. Chavez, shining black hair trailing across his forehead, wearing a green plaid shirt that had become almost a uniform, sat behind a makeshift desk topped with bright red Formica.

“Si se puede,” he said repeatedly to me, a highly skeptical reporter, as we talked deep into the early morning hours there in the cluttered shack that served as headquarters for him and the others who were trying to create an effective farm workers union.

“Si se puede! – it can be done!”

But I would not be swayed. Too many others, over too many years, had tried and failed to win for farm workers the union rights they absolutely had to have if they were to escape the severe economic and social deprivation inflicted on them by their grower employers.

The Industrial Workers of the World who stormed across western fields early in the 20th century, the Communists who followed, the socialists, the AFL and CIO organizers – all their efforts had collapsed under the relentless pressure of growers and their powerful political allies.

I was certain this effort would be no different. I was wrong. I had not accounted for the tactical brilliance, creativity, courage and just plain stubbornness of Cesar Chavez, a sad-eyed, disarmingly soft-spoken man who talked of militancy in calm, measured tones, a gentle and incredibly patient man who hid great strategic talent behind shy smiles and an attitude of utter candor.

Chavez grasped the essential fact that farm workers had to organize themselves. Outside organizers, however well intentioned, could not do it. Chavez, a farm worker himself, carefully put together a grass-roots organization that enabled the workers to form their own union, which then sought out – and won – widespread support from influential outsiders.

The key weapon of the organization, newly proclaimed the United Farm Workers, or UFW, was the boycott. It was so effective between 1968 and 1975 that 12 percent of the country’s adult population – that’s 17 million people – quit buying table grapes.

The UFW’s grape boycott and others against wineries and lettuce growers won the first farm union contracts in history in 1970. That led to enactment five years later of the California law – also a first – that requires growers to bargain collectively with workers who vote for unionization. And that led to substantial improvements in the pay, benefits, working conditions and general status of the state’s farm workers. Similar laws, with similar results, have now been enacted elsewhere.

The struggle that finally led to victory was extremely difficult for the impoverished workers, and Chavez risked his health – if not his life – to provide them extreme examples of the sacrifices necessary for victory. Most notably, he engaged in lengthy, highly publicized fasts that helped rally the public to the farm workers’ cause and that may very well have contributed to his untimely death in 1993 at age 66.

Fasts, boycotts. It’s no coincidence that those were the principal tools of Mohandas Gandhi, for Chavez drew much of his inspiration from the Hindu leader. Like Gandhi and another of his models, Martin Luther King Jr., Chavez fervently believed in the tactics of non-violence. Like them, he showed the world how profoundly effective they can be in seeking justice from even the most powerful opponents.

“We have our bodies and spirits and the justice of our cause as our weapons,” Chavez explained.

His iconic position has been questioned recently by outsiders claiming Chavez acted as a dictator in his last years as head of the UFW. But what the UFW accomplished under his leadership, and how the union accomplished it, will never be forgotten – not by the millions of social activists who have been inspired and energized by the farm workers’ struggle, nor by the workers themselves.

Chavez deservedly remains, and undoubtedly will always remain, an American icon who led the way to winning important legal rights for farm workers. But more than union contracts, and more than laws, farm workers now have what Cesar Chavez insisted was needed above all else. That, as he told me so many years ago, “is to have the workers truly believe and understand and know that they are free, that they are free men and women, that they are free to stand up and fight for their rights.”

Freedom. No leader has ever left a greater legacy. But the struggle continues. Despite the UFW victories, farm workers are in great need of fully exercising the rights won under Chavez’ leadership. They need to reverse what has been a decline in the UFW’s fortunes in recent years, caused in part by lax enforcement of the laws that granted farm workers union rights.

Many farm workers are still mired in poverty, their pay and working and living conditions a national disgrace. They average less than $10,000 a year and have few – if any – fringe benefits. They suffer seasonal unemployment.

Job security is rare, as many of the workers are desperately poor immigrants from Mexico or Central America who must take whatever is offered or be replaced by other desperately poor workers from the endless stream of immigrants. Child labor is rampant.

Most hiring and firing is done at the whim of employers, many of them wealthy corporate growers or labor contractors who unilaterally set pay and working conditions and otherwise act arbitrarily.

Workers are often exposed to dangerous pesticides and other serious health and safety hazards that make farm work one of the country’s most dangerous occupations. They often even lack such on-the-job amenities as fresh drinking water and field toilets, and almost invariably are forced to live in overcrowded, seriously substandard housing.

Cesar Chavez Day should remind us of the continuing need to take forceful legal steps and other action in behalf of farm workers – to help them overcome their wretched conditions and finally provide a decent life for all those who do the hard, dirty and dangerous work that puts fruit and vegetables on our tables.

We need, in short, to carry on what Cesar Chavez began. We could pay no greater homage to his memory.


Cesar Chavez: A True American Hero

Cesar Chavez. (Photo: Wikimedia) I hope we can all pause and reflect on the extraordinary life of a true American hero today (March 31). It’s Cesar Chavez Day, proclaimed by President Obama and observed throughout the country on the 85th birth date of the late founder of the United Farm Workers union. It’s an official state holiday in California, Texas and Colorado.

As President Obama noted, Chavez was a leader in launching “one of our nation’s most inspiring movements.” He taught us, Obama added, “that social justice takes action, selflessness and commitment. As we face the challenges of the day, let us do so with the hope and determination of Cesar Chavez.”

Like another American hero, Martin Luther King Jr., Chavez inspired and energized millions of people worldwide to seek and win basic human rights that had long been denied them, and inspired millions of others to join the struggle.

Certainly there are few people in any field more deserving of special attention, certainly no one I’ve met in more than a half-century of labor reporting.

I first met Cesar Chavez when I was covering labor for the San Francisco Chronicle. It was on a hot summer night in 1965 in the little San Joaquin Valley town of Delano, California. Chavez, shining black hair trailing across his forehead, wearing a green plaid shirt that had become almost a uniform, sat behind a makeshift desk topped with bright red Formica.

“Si se puede,” he said repeatedly to me, a highly skeptical reporter, as we talked deep into the early morning hours there in the cluttered shack that served as headquarters for him and the others who were trying to create an effective farm workers union.

“Si se puede! – it can be done!”

But I would not be swayed. Too many others, over too many years, had tried and failed to win for farm workers the union rights they absolutely had to have if they were to escape the severe economic and social deprivation inflicted on them by their grower employers.

The Industrial Workers of the World who stormed across western fields early in the 20th century, the Communists who followed, the socialists, the AFL and CIO organizers – all their efforts had collapsed under the relentless pressure of growers and their powerful political allies.

I was certain this effort would be no different. I was wrong. I had not accounted for the tactical brilliance, creativity, courage and just plain stubbornness of Cesar Chavez, a sad-eyed, disarmingly soft-spoken man who talked of militancy in calm, measured tones, a gentle and incredibly patient man who hid great strategic talent behind shy smiles and an attitude of utter candor.

Chavez grasped the essential fact that farm workers had to organize themselves. Outside organizers, however well intentioned, could not do it. Chavez, a farm worker himself, carefully put together a grass-roots organization that enabled the workers to form their own union, which then sought out – and won – widespread support from influential outsiders.

The key weapon of the organization, newly proclaimed the United Farm Workers, or UFW, was the boycott. It was so effective between 1968 and 1975 that 12 percent of the country’s adult population – that’s 17 million people – quit buying table grapes.

The UFW’s grape boycott and others against wineries and lettuce growers won the first farm union contracts in history in 1970. That led to enactment five years later of the California law – also a first – that requires growers to bargain collectively with workers who vote for unionization. And that led to substantial improvements in the pay, benefits, working conditions and general status of the state’s farm workers. Similar laws, with similar results, have now been enacted elsewhere.

The struggle that finally led to victory was extremely difficult for the impoverished workers, and Chavez risked his health – if not his life – to provide them extreme examples of the sacrifices necessary for victory. Most notably, he engaged in lengthy, highly publicized fasts that helped rally the public to the farm workers’ cause and that may very well have contributed to his untimely death in 1993 at age 66.

Fasts, boycotts. It’s no coincidence that those were the principal tools of Mohandas Gandhi, for Chavez drew much of his inspiration from the Hindu leader. Like Gandhi and another of his models, Martin Luther King Jr., Chavez fervently believed in the tactics of non-violence. Like them, he showed the world how profoundly effective they can be in seeking justice from even the most powerful opponents.

“We have our bodies and spirits and the justice of our cause as our weapons,” Chavez explained.

His iconic position has been questioned recently by outsiders claiming Chavez acted as a dictator in his last years as head of the UFW. But what the UFW accomplished under his leadership, and how the union accomplished it, will never be forgotten – not by the millions of social activists who have been inspired and energized by the farm workers’ struggle, nor by the workers themselves.

Chavez deservedly remains, and undoubtedly will always remain, an American icon who led the way to winning important legal rights for farm workers. But more than union contracts, and more than laws, farm workers now have what Cesar Chavez insisted was needed above all else. That, as he told me so many years ago, “is to have the workers truly believe and understand and know that they are free, that they are free men and women, that they are free to stand up and fight for their rights.”

Freedom. No leader has ever left a greater legacy. But the struggle continues. Despite the UFW victories, farm workers are in great need of fully exercising the rights won under Chavez’ leadership. They need to reverse what has been a decline in the UFW’s fortunes in recent years, caused in part by lax enforcement of the laws that granted farm workers union rights.

Many farm workers are still mired in poverty, their pay and working and living conditions a national disgrace. They average less than $10,000 a year and have few – if any – fringe benefits. They suffer seasonal unemployment.

Job security is rare, as many of the workers are desperately poor immigrants from Mexico or Central America who must take whatever is offered or be replaced by other desperately poor workers from the endless stream of immigrants. Child labor is rampant.

Most hiring and firing is done at the whim of employers, many of them wealthy corporate growers or labor contractors who unilaterally set pay and working conditions and otherwise act arbitrarily.

Workers are often exposed to dangerous pesticides and other serious health and safety hazards that make farm work one of the country’s most dangerous occupations. They often even lack such on-the-job amenities as fresh drinking water and field toilets, and almost invariably are forced to live in overcrowded, seriously substandard housing.

Cesar Chavez Day should remind us of the continuing need to take forceful legal steps and other action in behalf of farm workers – to help them overcome their wretched conditions and finally provide a decent life for all those who do the hard, dirty and dangerous work that puts fruit and vegetables on our tables.

We need, in short, to carry on what Cesar Chavez began. We could pay no greater homage to his memory.


Cesar Chavez: A True American Hero

Cesar Chavez. (Photo: Wikimedia) I hope we can all pause and reflect on the extraordinary life of a true American hero today (March 31). It’s Cesar Chavez Day, proclaimed by President Obama and observed throughout the country on the 85th birth date of the late founder of the United Farm Workers union. It’s an official state holiday in California, Texas and Colorado.

As President Obama noted, Chavez was a leader in launching “one of our nation’s most inspiring movements.” He taught us, Obama added, “that social justice takes action, selflessness and commitment. As we face the challenges of the day, let us do so with the hope and determination of Cesar Chavez.”

Like another American hero, Martin Luther King Jr., Chavez inspired and energized millions of people worldwide to seek and win basic human rights that had long been denied them, and inspired millions of others to join the struggle.

Certainly there are few people in any field more deserving of special attention, certainly no one I’ve met in more than a half-century of labor reporting.

I first met Cesar Chavez when I was covering labor for the San Francisco Chronicle. It was on a hot summer night in 1965 in the little San Joaquin Valley town of Delano, California. Chavez, shining black hair trailing across his forehead, wearing a green plaid shirt that had become almost a uniform, sat behind a makeshift desk topped with bright red Formica.

“Si se puede,” he said repeatedly to me, a highly skeptical reporter, as we talked deep into the early morning hours there in the cluttered shack that served as headquarters for him and the others who were trying to create an effective farm workers union.

“Si se puede! – it can be done!”

But I would not be swayed. Too many others, over too many years, had tried and failed to win for farm workers the union rights they absolutely had to have if they were to escape the severe economic and social deprivation inflicted on them by their grower employers.

The Industrial Workers of the World who stormed across western fields early in the 20th century, the Communists who followed, the socialists, the AFL and CIO organizers – all their efforts had collapsed under the relentless pressure of growers and their powerful political allies.

I was certain this effort would be no different. I was wrong. I had not accounted for the tactical brilliance, creativity, courage and just plain stubbornness of Cesar Chavez, a sad-eyed, disarmingly soft-spoken man who talked of militancy in calm, measured tones, a gentle and incredibly patient man who hid great strategic talent behind shy smiles and an attitude of utter candor.

Chavez grasped the essential fact that farm workers had to organize themselves. Outside organizers, however well intentioned, could not do it. Chavez, a farm worker himself, carefully put together a grass-roots organization that enabled the workers to form their own union, which then sought out – and won – widespread support from influential outsiders.

The key weapon of the organization, newly proclaimed the United Farm Workers, or UFW, was the boycott. It was so effective between 1968 and 1975 that 12 percent of the country’s adult population – that’s 17 million people – quit buying table grapes.

The UFW’s grape boycott and others against wineries and lettuce growers won the first farm union contracts in history in 1970. That led to enactment five years later of the California law – also a first – that requires growers to bargain collectively with workers who vote for unionization. And that led to substantial improvements in the pay, benefits, working conditions and general status of the state’s farm workers. Similar laws, with similar results, have now been enacted elsewhere.

The struggle that finally led to victory was extremely difficult for the impoverished workers, and Chavez risked his health – if not his life – to provide them extreme examples of the sacrifices necessary for victory. Most notably, he engaged in lengthy, highly publicized fasts that helped rally the public to the farm workers’ cause and that may very well have contributed to his untimely death in 1993 at age 66.

Fasts, boycotts. It’s no coincidence that those were the principal tools of Mohandas Gandhi, for Chavez drew much of his inspiration from the Hindu leader. Like Gandhi and another of his models, Martin Luther King Jr., Chavez fervently believed in the tactics of non-violence. Like them, he showed the world how profoundly effective they can be in seeking justice from even the most powerful opponents.

“We have our bodies and spirits and the justice of our cause as our weapons,” Chavez explained.

His iconic position has been questioned recently by outsiders claiming Chavez acted as a dictator in his last years as head of the UFW. But what the UFW accomplished under his leadership, and how the union accomplished it, will never be forgotten – not by the millions of social activists who have been inspired and energized by the farm workers’ struggle, nor by the workers themselves.

Chavez deservedly remains, and undoubtedly will always remain, an American icon who led the way to winning important legal rights for farm workers. But more than union contracts, and more than laws, farm workers now have what Cesar Chavez insisted was needed above all else. That, as he told me so many years ago, “is to have the workers truly believe and understand and know that they are free, that they are free men and women, that they are free to stand up and fight for their rights.”

Freedom. No leader has ever left a greater legacy. But the struggle continues. Despite the UFW victories, farm workers are in great need of fully exercising the rights won under Chavez’ leadership. They need to reverse what has been a decline in the UFW’s fortunes in recent years, caused in part by lax enforcement of the laws that granted farm workers union rights.

Many farm workers are still mired in poverty, their pay and working and living conditions a national disgrace. They average less than $10,000 a year and have few – if any – fringe benefits. They suffer seasonal unemployment.

Job security is rare, as many of the workers are desperately poor immigrants from Mexico or Central America who must take whatever is offered or be replaced by other desperately poor workers from the endless stream of immigrants. Child labor is rampant.

Most hiring and firing is done at the whim of employers, many of them wealthy corporate growers or labor contractors who unilaterally set pay and working conditions and otherwise act arbitrarily.

Workers are often exposed to dangerous pesticides and other serious health and safety hazards that make farm work one of the country’s most dangerous occupations. They often even lack such on-the-job amenities as fresh drinking water and field toilets, and almost invariably are forced to live in overcrowded, seriously substandard housing.

Dan Cesara Chaveza trebao bi nas podsjetiti na stalnu potrebu poduzimanja snažnih zakonskih koraka i drugih radnji u korist radnika na farmi - pomoći im da prebrode svoje bijedne uvjete i konačno osigurati pristojan život svima onima koji rade težak, prljav i opasan posao koji stavlja voće i povrće na naše stolove.

Ukratko, moramo nastaviti ono što je započeo Cesar Chavez. Njegovo sjećanje nismo mogli odati veće poštovanje.


Pogledajte video: JULIO CESAR CHAVEZ JR VS RAY SANCHEZ 1 (Decembar 2021).