Create a positive first impression with your next paper or report. Complete your project with one of our inexpensive bindings to create your own special effect. Remember, first impressions can have lasting effects. Ginsty’s Bindery Se 2021 Gu adalup e ic es -106 Congr ess 2700 VI Anderson Lane Call 476-9171 for details Copying is our middle name but not our only service Ginny’s Copying Service, Inc. i hlwanummumunipam. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 19 TFW was born. While Cesar Chavez and his United Farm Workers Union concentrated on the struggle to unionize California’s farm laborers, a group of workers in the Valley, led by former UFW secretary-treasurer and board member Orendain, resolved to strike out on their own. As Orendain explains it, the UFW had placed severe restrictions on organizational activities in states other than California by the mid-1970s. In Texas, UFW sympathizers were confined to organizing support for boycotts of non-union California produce, and farmworkers and their allies were specifically instructed not ‘to attempt strikes to organize workers in Texas. Orendain had come to the state in 1966 to direct the organizing drive of farmworkers who attempted a strike against Valley vegetable farms, and during the next nine years he was recalled by Chavez several times to take on other assignments. The UFW was losing the trust of Valley laborers, according to Orendain, and after the order came down forbidding strikes in Texas, he decided in 1975 to set up the TFW. But since it was formed, Orendain’s group has devoted most of its energies not to strike organizing but to offering social services and to working for the enactment of the farm labor law. Although there have been strike attempts, as long as growers are not required to hold union elections, says Orendain, “The biggest problem is that if you pull out 100 workers, then the next day you will find that 100 hungry stomachs have replaced them.” Instead of leading workers out of the fields, the TFW has established two centers in the Valley, as well as offices in Houston, San Antonio, El Paso and Muleshoe. \(The TFW is now trying to revive its Austin office to provide supters guide farmworkers to the various social and governmental services that may be open to them. In addition, TFW organizers have started developing an information network that will warn farmworkers against unscrupulous labor contractors. “Some contractors will ask for 200 or 300 workers when they only need 100,” Orendain says. “That way, they can take the 100 best workers, or the 100 who will work for the lowest wages.” The aim of the network will be to pass the word on the true labor needs of a given farm. The TFW has also been letting its members and supporters know which farms pay the highest wages. Armed with this information, farmworkers can avoid farms operating on piece-rate systems that yield less than the minimum wage for the average workercan avoid them, that is, if they can afford to. Bob Fatherree is a reporter for The Monitor in McAllen.
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