2. The Manongs Go On Strike

Willie Barrientos <br />

On September 8, 1965, The Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC) voted to go on strike against Delano's table grape growers. Several AWOC members were elderly Filipino workers that lived on various labor camps throughout Delano's farms.  As the Delano Grape Strike was underway, several Filipino strikers were evicted from labor camps throughout Delano; many of which had no family to turn to. During the beginning of the strike, Mexican farmworkers were used as strikebreakers, hindering AWOC’s wage demands

Larry Itliong, one of the leaders of AWOC, approached Cesar Chavez and asked if the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA) to join the strike. Despite a nearly-empty treasury, Chavez and the rest of NFWA agreed to join AWOC in the strike. The joint Mexican-Filipino contingency arose, creating support throughout California and the rest of the country. The strike was supported by notable figures such as Robert F. Kennedy and Walter Reuther. Eventually, the two unions merged into the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee. On 1970, Delano’s table grape growers conceded to the demands of the United Farm Workers by signing a historic collective bargaining agreement with the UFW.