First Regular Session

Sixty-second General Assembly

LLS NO. R99­0794.01 Megan Leddy


BY SENATORS Hernandez and Martinez;

also REPRESENTATIVES Mace, Chavez, Coleman, Gagliardi, Leyba, Tapia, and Vigil.



WHEREAS, Cesar Chavez was born March 31, 1927, on a small farm near Yuma, Arizona, and was raised by migrant farm workers; and

WHEREAS, Chavez left school after the eighth grade to labor in the fields and vineyards to help support his family; and

WHEREAS, After experiencing years of discrimination and unfair working conditions, Chavez joined a community organization that organized Chicanos to vote and battled racial and economic discrimination; and

WHEREAS, Chavez later formed his own organization to help farm workers like himself fight for equal rights and fair treatment; and

WHEREAS, Chavez traveled to many California migrant farm communities organizing a strong nucleus of dedicated farm worker members; and

WHEREAS, Chavez's organization, originally named the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA), with 1200 member families, joined an American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL­CIO) sponsored union to boycott against major Delano area table and wine grape growers, resulting in the merger of the two unions and the birth of the United Farm Workers (UFW); and

WHEREAS, Chavez utilized non­violent peaceful means, such as boycotts, pickets, strikes, and fasts to lead a successful five­year strike­boycott that gained millions of members for farm labor unions and supporters across the United States; and

WHEREAS, By 1970 Chavez and the UFW got grape growers to accept union contracts and had successfully organized almost the entire industry; and

WHEREAS, Chavez tirelessly devoted himself to making all people aware of the struggles of farm workers and their need for better pay and safer working conditions; and

WHEREAS, Chavez and the organization he founded, the UFW,

achieved the following:

! The first collective bargaining agreement between farm workers and growers in the continental United States; and

! The first union contracts requiring rest periods, clean drinking water, hand washing facilities, and protective clothing against pesticide exposure; and

! The first ban on pesticide spraying while workers are in the fields; and

! The first ban on DDT and other dangerous pesticides; and

! The first and only performing pension plan for retired farm workers; and

! The first union contracts regulating safety and sanitary conditions in farm labor camps and banning discrimination in employment and sexual harassment of female workers; and

! Abolished the infamous "short­handed hoe" that crippled generations of farm workers; and

! Extended to farm workers state coverage under unemployment, disability, and workers' compensation; and

WHEREAS, It is our belief that on behalf of all that Cesar Chavez did for farm workers and labor organizations nationwide, we should honor Chavez on the day that we honor all workers, Labor Day; now, therefore,

Be It Resolved by the Senate of the Sixty­second General Assembly of the State of Colorado, the House of Representatives concurring herein:

That we, the members of the General Assembly of the State of Colorado, honor a man who devoted his life to improving the working conditions, safety, and dignity of so many, on the day that the entire nation celebrates all workers, Labor Day.