Against all odds, he united workers in the fields of California to join a union and take on the powerful growers.
Now, on the 85th anniversary of his birth, he is being honored by the United States Department of Labor. They named their auditorium after him.
The Department also added the farmworkers movement to its Hall of Honor. This honors Americans who have the improved the life of workers.
The Secretary of Labor grew up in California. She said, “No challenge was too great. No corporation or politician too powerful. They built a union…that became a powerful force for change.”
The Department citation said: “It wasn’t about one single person. It was thousands of ordinary people inspired to act with extraordinary courage.”