Cesar Chavez and Working Conditions: Then vs Now


With Cesar Chavez’s birthday in approach, it’s nice to discuss his impact on certain things now compared to that of his own time. Cesar Chavez most commonly fought for working conditions and especially those who were farmworkers. Many of these workers were immigrants as well. And there is definitely a difference between now and then when it comes to working conditions and certain topics revolving around immigrant workers. 

Back then, farmworkers were faced with terrible working conditions. They were subject to low wages, no job security, no benefits, and very few comforts along with other severe conditions. And to improve these conditions, Chavez helped by organizing these workers into a union to demand improvements be made for them. This union is called the United Farm Workers and they began holding nonviolent protests, marches, and boycotts to bring attention to these issues. These efforts he and others made succeeded and have brought on much more improved and safer conditions and pay for farm workers today. It has also helped in passing the Agricultural Labor Relations Act that protects the rights of these workers as well. 

While Chavez may have been all for rights for farmworkers, he was not really one for illegal immigration. Having made the “Illegals Campaign” a part of his efforts to somehow stop undocumented or illegal immigrants from arriving in the United States. There are very mixed views on this so it’s difficult to say whether or not he’s had an impact on this, though it is seen today that there are more restrictions and policies set on undocumented workers. However, other than this he has fought for other things and helped to make a more positive impact for others now aside from working conditions by working to register new voters and oppose racial and economic discrimination. 

Cesar Chavez has aided in improving many conditions and policies, he definitely strived to improve and make a positive impact on others and has achieved that when you compare the times now to back then to the causes he fought for.