Salinas, Calif.—Fulfilling a dream Cesar Chavez shared with farm workers since the 1970s, two hundred workers, supporters and elected officials gather on Sunday in Salinas to dedicate the 10,294-square foot Central Coast Farm Worker Center, the United Farm Workers’ extensively renovated modern facility serving the largest concentration of unionized farm workers in the nation. Joining the ceremony in downtown Salinas just blocks from the National Steinbeck Center are leaders from unionized berry, vegetable, mushroom and wine grape companies plus elected officials and supporters whose donations helped build the structure.
Reporters can go on a 12:30 p.m. tour of the facility, designed to create a modern, professional center where finally under one roof workers will gather to organize and administer their union contracts, obtain services including union health and pension benefits, get help with their problems and hold big meetings and observances. UFW Foundation also provides immigration and tax preparation services, public benefit enrollment and education and outreach. All of these activities took place in cramped and outdated quarters.
The extensively remodeled building boasts state-of-the-art technology, including WiFi, interactive whiteboard (large interactive displays in the form factor of a whiteboard), and soon video conferencing. It also offers private spaces where workers can discuss confidential matters such as immigration and health issues with professional staff plus room to strategize and plan for the future.
The large union hall will host big meetings and doubles as exhibition space to help educate workers and the pubic about the proud history of more than five decades of UFW marches, strikes, boycotts and jailings. The Central Coast witnessed landmark events such as mass field walkouts in 1970 and 1979, and Cesar Chavez’s 20-day December 1970 incarceration in the nearby Monterey County Jail for refusing a local judge’s order to call off a boycott.
Who: Farm worker leaders from Central Coast unionized companies, UFW President Arturo S. Rodriguez, donors, supporters and elected officials.
What: Dedication of new, modern 10,294-square foot UFW Central Valley Farm Worker Center.
When: Ceremony starts at 1 p.m. with press tour at 12:30 p.m., Sunday, May 20, 2018.
Where: Central Valley Farm Worker Center, 118 E. Gabilan St., Salinas 93901