Farm workers used protests staged today across California to announce they are organizing a march—or peregrinacion (pilgrimage)—up the Central Valley this summer to take their case to Gov. Gavin Newsom after he refused to meet on Cesar Chavez Day with elected worker leaders over a vital issue directly impacting their lives. The upcoming pilgrimage, drawing upon Mexican and Catholic cultural and religious traditions, will retrace the route of the historic trek Cesar Chavez led in 1966 from Delano, where the movement was founded, to the state Capitol in Sacramento to place farm workers’ grievances before the governor and Legislature.
Plans for the march were unveiled on Thursday as part of Chavez day as field workers, labor leaders, elected officials, and a broad array of supporters gathered in 13 rural and urban California cities—from Los Angeles, Sacramento, and San Francisco to farming communities on the Central Coast and in the Central, Coachella, and Imperial valleys. There, they pressed the governor on behalf of their bill, AB 2183, the Agricultural Labor Relations Voting Choice Act. It would provide more choices in how agricultural workers can vote in their union elections, the same choices long enjoyed by all California political voters that Gov. Newsom used to defeat a Republican recall last September. A similar measure was passed by the Legislature but abruptly vetoed by the governor last September.
“Fifty-six years ago, farm workers marched from Delano to Sacramento because their legitimate grievances were being ignored by those in power,” said United Farm Workers President Teresa Romero. “They will do so once again this year in the heat of summer.” The 1966 pilgrimage also brought national news coverage and public attention for the farm workers’ cause.
“Farm workers feed the nation, but we are denied basic rights other workers have. We deserve to vote where we don’t have supervisors and labor contractors there pressuring us,” says vineyard worker Vianey Enriquez. “It’s impossible to have a free choice when you have the supervisor who threatened to fire anyone who voted for the union staring at you.”
See attached listing of times, locations, and events of all 13 gatherings by farm workers and supporters.
|Bakersfield||3400 21st Street Bakersfield, CA 93301||10:00 a.m.|
|Berkeley||UC Berkeley Sproul Plaza (near 2495 Bancroft Way) Berkeley, CA 94704||1:00pm|
|Calexico||313 W 2nd St Calexico, CA 92231||12:00 noon|
|Coachella||Cesar Chavez & Ave 50th Street 92236||12:00 noon|
|Fresno||1435 Fresno Street, Fresno CA 93707||9:00 a.m.|
|Los Angeles||Cesar Chavez Blvd & Alameda St, by Olvera St Los Angeles, CA 90012||4:00 p.m.|
|Los Angeles @ UCLA||UCLAs Bruin Walk, 308 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095||10:00am|
|Modesto||Hatch and Highway 99, 95351||2:00 p.m.|
|Sacramento||Corner of 10th & N Streets (Southwest Corner of Capitol Park), Sacramento 95814||9:00 a.m.|
|Salinas||142 West Alisal Street Salinas, CA 93901||12:00 p.m.|
|San Diego||Cesar Chavez Prkwy & Logan St San Diego, 92113||1:00 p.m.|
|San Francisco||Cesar Chavez & Mission Street San Francisco 94110||12:00 noon|
|San Jose||Plaza de Cesar Chavez, 1 Paseo de San Antonio, San Jose, CA 95113||9:30am|