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Farmworkers march on the capital Marcha Para justicia St. Edward’s University rally. Leaving St. Ed’s for parade down Con12 The Texas Observer More than 500 chanting, flag-waving supporters accompanied sixteen Valley farm workers on the final leg of their 400-mile march to the Capitol on April 3. The Marcha Para Justicia, begun in Rio Grande City on Feb. 26, was organized by the Texas Farmworkers Union to publicize a legislative effort to give farm workers the right to organize and bargain collectively. The Agricultural Labor Relations Act D-El signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in 1975. Major provisions include a governor-appointed board which would certify worker elections and determine bargaining units. A corresponding bill in by Democrat Carlos Truan of Corpus Christi. It has been eleven years since Texas farm workers marched to Austin on a similar mission. In 1966, Gov. John Connally not only refused to meet with marchers, but sent Texas Rangers to break up their organizing efforts with beatings and arrests. This year, Dolph Briscoe agreed to meet the marchers and had them in for coffee and donuts at the governor’s mansion. The ARLB is the first such legislation ever introduced in either the Texas House or Senate, and one of the first issues to unite the chicano caucus in the Legislature. ARLB’s supporters, however, harbor few illusions about the bill’s chances for passage this session. Speaker Billy Clayton has cynically maneuvered HB 1325 away from its natural place in the labor committee to the more conservative agriculture committee. Briscoe, for his part, has refused to support the collective bargaining bill, good patron that he is. Instead, he hauled out a grab-bag of temporizing measures, including a call for additional welfare benefits and a $50,000 appropriation for a commission to study “the plight of the migrant farm worker.” “He {Briscoe] wants to study this problem,” said Rep. Bill Blythe \(R”Where’s he been all his life? He’s been down there in South Texas. I’m not sure this [the proposed commission] isn’t just something he is telling these folks to get them off his. back. The governor knows what the problems are.” Glenn Scott and Richard Greene