1093 Words5 Pages
The Salinas lettuce strike was not the first nor last attempt made by Filipinos to receive reasonable wages and fair treatment in the workplace. In the midst of the Great Depression that had hit the United States, Filipino and white workers, led a strike in Salinas, California on August 27, 1934. The strike was led on by the newly formed Filipino Labor Union, who fought for safer working conditions, higher wages and shorter work days. Seven thousand workers, three thousand of them Filipino, demanded a wage increase from forty cents to fifty-five cents, and union recognition. Filipinos struggled to have their voice heard and farmers were taken aback when they realized the great length workers were willing to go in order to express their dissatisfaction. The Salinas Valley is located in the northern region of California, specifically in Monterey County. Its cool climate, lengthy growing season, and its proximity to the Salinas River helps create an ideal area for agricultural. Due to the fertile nature of the Salinas Valley and the amount of crops grown, Salinas is commonly called the “World’s Salad Bowl.” Without the hands of immigrant laborers, the abundance of fruits and vegetables grown and distributed would not have been possible. The strike occurred in 1934, which was in the midst of the Great Depression which had largely hit the United States as unemployment skyrocketed. Many farmers felt that if they had increased worker wages during this time, it would be unfair because the wage increase the workers wanted was significantly higher than farmers were willing to pay. As the Great Depression became significantly worse, farmers decided to lay off many workers and slash their wages heavily. However, violence against... ... middle of paper ... ...had been reached that included six labor regulations to end the Salinas lettuce strike. The six regulations included that laborers had to be paid from the time they began work to the time they finished, each shift was eight hours and if they worked more than ten hours they would be paid for a time and a third. Also, they were only allowed to work forty-eight hours a week and were not allowed to pick lettuce before seven a.m., and anyone working after eleven p.m. must be given a lunch break. The Salinas lettuce strike was a turning point in California history because of the struggle Filipinos endured to reach an agreement with their contractors, which had never been done before by a Filipino union. One of the great achievements of the Salinas lettuce strike was that the determination of the Filipino Labor Union, influenced and paved the path for many unions to come.

More about nn

Open Document