Filmmaker: Harvey Richards • Publisher: Estuary Press
Uno Veintecinco documents the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC), AFL-CIO, strike in 1962 to win lettuce pickers in California $1.25 / hour. The film interviews organizers and workers and reviews the 20th century history of labor organizing in California’s fields. It contains footage of spontaneous strike actions in which farm workers are seen leaving the fields to join the strikers. The strike was centered in the Imperial Valley of California along the border with Mexico. It was called by resident farm workers allied with the UPWA and AWOC. The UPWA had contracts in packing houses in the state where wages and working conditions were better than for field workers. Growers were increasingly moving packing operations into the fields, thus undercutting the UPWA contracts. UPWA suppport for the strike was both in defense of packing house workers and to help raise the wages of the industry generally. Although the strike was not completely successful, it was a milestone in the history of California farm labor in the years before the founding of the United Farm Workers Union.