Keep Me in the Loop!

800 Line Wilshire to Honor Labor Day and Support Strawberry Workers

For Release: Wednesday, August 27, 1997

11:30 a.m.–from 405 past Westwood

800 will line Wilshire to honor Labor Day
supporting abused strawberry workers

Some 800 labor, religious, environmental and civil rights activists will honor Labor Day on Wednesday, Aug. 27 by lining Wilshire Blvd. from the 405 freeway past Westwood Blvd. in a mile-long "human billboard" lineto call attention to an union organizing campaign by Central Coast strawberry workers.

Los Angeles’ pre-Labor Day celebration spotlights a joint drive by the United Farm Workers and the national AFL-CIO to organize 20,000 strawberry workers across California. Berry pickers average $8,500 per season and receive few, if any benefits, for 10- or 11-hour work days.

Celebrities including actors Martin Sheen, Jackie Guerra ("Selena") and Khrystyne Haje ("Head of the Class", "Golden Child")will join UFW Co-founder and Secretary-Treasurer Dolores Huerta, Los Angeles County AFL- CIO leader Miguel Contreras and hundreds of farm worker supporters in holding up large "human billboards" for passing motorists. The signs read, "Labor Day ?7–Honor Strawberry Workers’ Right to Job Security."

WHO: Celebrities, UFW Co-Founder and Secretary-Treasurer Dolores Huerta, L.A. AFL-CIO leader Miguel Contreras plus 800 activists.

WHAT: Pre-Labor Day "human billboard" line to support union organizing by California strawberry workers.

WHEN: Billboarding from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. & rally from 12:30 to 1:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug 27, 1997.

WHERE: Along Wilshire Blvd. from 405 freeway east past Westwood to Malcom Ave.; rally at Wilshire & blocked-off Malcom Ave.

Labor Day marks the third year of a major new field organizing campaign by the UFW. Since 1994, the union founded Cesar Chavez has won 14 straight secret ballot union elections and signed 15 new contracts with growers.

More than 3,000 supermarkets in 19 states and two Canadian provinces, including three out of the nation’s 10 retail food companies, have pledged to support strawberry workers’ rights. Ralphs and Lucky stores in Southern California have signed the pledge.

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