The Workplace During The Great Depression And World War II Essay

The Workplace During The Great Depression And World War II Essay

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During The Great Depression and World War II, large numbers of Mexican women and men joined the workforce, unions, and other organizations (Page 212). The workplace allowed Mexican women to socialize with one another and they finally for the first time experience what it is like to be independent without relying on any man. “By 1930, some 25 percent of Mexican (and Mexican American) women were in some kind of industrial employment” (Acuna 215). However, Mexican Americans were paid less than a white American, especially Mexican women. In order to for Mexican and Mexican Americans to fight for their rights to be paid and be treated like a white American, Mexican women formed labor unions that would you united them and protest against the owners of their workplace.
The pecan industry was striving with 5000-12000 Mexican workers that work cracking open the pecan in order to get the meat inside. The Pecan industry hired Mexicans because they were cheaper than buying and maintaining machines (Page 228). “Often, contractors employed workers to shell pecans in their homes...as many as 100 pickers were packed into unventilated rooms without toilets or running water” (Acuna 228). Mexicans were paid extremely low wages by the contractors. In 1933, sixteen year old, Emma Tenayuca, a labor organizer, led the largest pecan workers’ unions, it had 4,000 members by 1936. She led numerous strikes in order for Mexican workers to get paid and be treated better. Finally, “the board recognized Local 172...it required owners to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act” (Acuna 229). However, this only made owners replaced workers with machines.
By 1937 and 1938, unions began to paid more attention to the conditions workers were working in especially wor...


... middle of paper ...


... broken into including bars and Mexicans were beaten up. “Though sailors destroyed private property, law enforcement officials did little to enforce the law. When members of the Mexican community attempted to defend themselves, police arrested them” (Acuna 251). Finally, on June 7, thousands of soldiers, sailors, and civilians walk down the streets of Main Street and Broadway where they crashed bars and broke the legs of stools to use them as clubs. Not only, were Mexicans targeted, but Filipinos and blacks were being targeted also. The mob beat up Mexicans, ripped their clothes off, and left them on the streets bleeding. The police arrested more than 600 Mexicans youth without any cause, they were arrested for “prevention” purposes. The riots ended when Governor Earl Warren committer reported the military or civilian, anyone involve in the riots would be punish.



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