University of Texas Arlington

Migrant Farm Workers Organizing Movement Collection (1968-1972):

A Guide

Descriptive Summary

Creator: United Farm Workers Organizing Committee
Title: Migrant Farm Workers Organizing Movement Collection
Inclusive Dates: 1951-1977
Identification: AR46
Extent: 14 boxes (5.3 linear ft.)
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Library

Historical Note

The Independent Workers Association was organized by Eugene Nelson in the Rio Grande Valley in 1966. It affiliated that year with the National Farm Workers Association which then merged soon after with the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee to form the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee. Though represented heavily with Mexican-Americans the migrant farm workers movement also included white and black farm workers.

Scope and Contents

Correspondence, newsletters, newspaper clippings, speeches, reports, map, ballots, booklets, leaflets, brochures, reprinted articles, tape recordings, photographs, and a scrapbook. Includes papers of Eugene Nelson, 1966-1967; newsletters and other materials from several groups that supported collective bargaining for farm workers; clippings and articles about the farm workers organizing movement, strikes, boycotts, living conditions, and the economic situation of farm workers in California and the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, especially Starr County, 1966-1967.



The collection is organized into six series. Series I is arranged chronologically. In Series II, folders are arranged alphabetically and their contents chronologically. Series III is arranged alphabetically.
Series I. News Clippings.
Series II. Correspondence and miscellaneous UFWOC records.
Series III. Articles and Essays.
Series IV. Photocopies of Clippings from Scrapbook, "Starr County's Current Events."
V. Scrapbook.
VI. Newspapers and Miscellaneous Materials.



Open for research.

Literary Rights Statement

Permission to publish, reproduce, distribute, or use by any and all other current or future developed methods or procedures must be obtained in writing from Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Library. All rights are reserved and retained regardless of current or future development or laws that may apply to fair use standards.

Index Terms

These materials are indexed under the following headings in the catalog of The University of Texas at Arlington Library. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons or places should search the catalog using these headings.
Nelson, Eugene, 1929- --Archives.
United Farm Workers Organizing Committee--Records and correspondence.
Independent Workers Association--Records and correspondence.
National Farm Workers Association--Records and correspondence.
Migrant agricultural laborers--California.
Migrant agricultural laborers--Texas.
Agricultural laborers--Labor unions--California--Sources.
Agricultural laborers--Labor unions--Texas--Sources.
Strikes and lockouts--Agricultural laborers--Texas--Starr County.
Strikes and lockouts--Vineyard laborers--California.
Alternate Titles
Texas Labor Archives
Migrant farm workers organizing movement collection, 1951-1977.

Related Material

  • Jan Hart Cohen,""To See Christ in Our Brothers: The Role of the Texas Roman Catholic Church in the Rio Grande Valley Farm Workers' Movement, 1966-1967"," MA thesis, UTA, 1974
  • Richard Ray Bailey, ""Farm Labor in Texas and the Starr County Strike"," MA thesis, TCU, 1969
  • Marion Beth Morris, ""The History of the Mexican Contract Labor Program, 1942-1966"," MA thesis, NTSU, 1967
  • John Delmar Privett,""Agricultural Unionism Among Chicanos in Texas"," MA thesis, UT Austin, 1971
  • Donald James Staats, ""Travel Problems of Texas' Migrant Farm Workers"," MA thesis, UT Austin, 1962
  • Charles Carr Winn, ""Mexican-Americans in the Texas Labor Movement"," Ph.D. thesis, TCU, 1972
  • AR4: Tarrant County Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO Records, 1956-1971
  • AR55: Pancho Medrano Papers, 1946-1971
  • AR69: United Farm Workers' Organizing Committee, Fort Worth Boycott Committee Records
  • AR93: Justice for Farah Strikers Committee Records, 1964-1974
  • AR110, Series 7: Texas AFL-CIO, Mexican American Affairs Committee Records, 1951-1971
  • AR110, Series 17: Texas AFL-CIO, Texas State Industrial Union Council Records, 1961-1967
  • AR110, Series 20: Texas AFL-CIO, Other State AFL-CIO Organizations, 1944-1971
  • AR110, Series 23: Texas AFL-CIO, Correspondence with Federal Agencies, 1937-1972
  • AR110, Series 24: Texas AFL-CIO, Correspondence with State Agencies, 1934-1971
  • AR110, Series 25: Texas AFL-CIO, Correspondence with Non-Union Associations and Organizations, 1935-1969
  • AR135: AFL-CIO Records, Region No. 17, 1964-1974
  • El Malcriado, Delano, California, 1968-1974
  • Farm Labor Organizing, 1905-1967 (vertical file)
  • Galarza, Ernesto, Merchants of Labor: The Mexican Bracero Story, 1964
  • Oral History Program interviews with the following: Antonio Orendain; Archbishop Robert E. Lucey; Father Sherrill Smith, John McCarthy, and William Killian; F. F. "Pancho" Medrano; Henry Munoz, Jr.; H. S. "Hank" Brown.

Administrative Information


Gift of the United Farm Workers' Organizing Committee; Bill and Mary Darby; Texas AFL-CIO, Austin, Texas; and Doug Adair, 1967-1969, 1979.


Migrant Farm Workers Organizing Movement Collection, AR46, Box Number, Folder Number, Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Library.

Processing Information

A box of newspapers and miscellaneous materials, 1972-1977, was added in July, 1979 (oversize box 8). News clippings in Box 7, Folder 6, were also added at that time.

Container List


Series I. News Clippings

Box Folder
1 1 News Clippings, 1951-1953
2 News Clippings, 1954
3 News Clippings, 1955-1958
4 News Clippings, 1959
5 News Clippings, 1960-1961
6 News Clippings, January, 1962 - May, 1963
7 News Clippings, June, 1963
Box Folder
2 1 News Clippings, July, 1963
2 News Clippings, August 1 - August 10, 1963
3 News Clippings, August 11 - August 31, 1963
4 News Clippings, September, 1963 - January, 1964
5 News Clippings, February, 1964 - May, 1964
Box Folder
3 1 News Clippings, June, 1964 - August, 1964
2 News Clippings, September, 1964 - July, 1965
3 News Clippings, August, 1965 - September, 1965
4 News Clippings, October, 1965 - April, 1966
5 News Clippings, May, 1966 - June, 1966
6 News Clippings, July 1 - July 14, 1966
Box Folder
4 1 News Clippings, July 15, 1966 - August, 1966
2 News Clippings, September 1 - September 5, 1966
3 News Clippings, September 6 - September 30, 1966
4 News Clippings, October, 1966 - November, 1966
5 News Clippings, December, 1966 - February, 1967
Box Folder
5 1 News Clippings, March - April 25, 1967
2 News Clippings, April 26, 1967 - May 12, 1967
3 News Clippings, May 13 - May 28, 1967
4 News Clippings, May 28 - May 31, 1967
5 News Clippings, June 1 - June 7, 1967
6 News Clippings, June 7, 1967
Box Folder
6 1 News Clippings, June 11 - June 17, 1967
2 News Clippings, June 17 - June 28, 1967
3 News Clippings, June 28 - June 30, 1967
4 News Clippings, June 30 - July 5, 1967
Box Folder
6a 1 News Clippings, January, 1968 - May, 1968
2 News Clippings, May, 1968 - Nov., 1968
3 News Clippings, December, 1968 - March, 1969
4 News Clippings, March 12, 1969 - April 30, 1969
5 News Clippings, May, 1969 - April, 1970
6 News Clippings, December, 1969 - May, 1974
7 News Clippings, Undated
Box Folder
7 1 News Clippings, June 6 - July 19, 1967
2 News Clippings, July 19 - July 31, 1967
3 News Clippings, August 1 - August 30, 1967
4 News Clippings, Sept. 1 - Sept. 23, 1967
5 News Clippings, Oct. 1 - December 22, 1967
6 News Clippings, May, 1975 - November, 1975


Series II. Correspondence and Miscellaneous UFWOC Records

Box Folder
8 1 AFL-CIO, Resolutions and Statements, October 15, 1953 - 1968
resolutions, statements, memos, press releases, labor legislation material
2 Agricultural Workers Freedom to Work Association, 1968-1969
organizational material, financial records, clippings, records of activities
3 Arrests of Union Members Compiled by Law Firm: Hill, King McKeithan and Ellis, June 1, 1966 - June 1, 1967
arrest records, bail records, photos, clippings
4 Caravans for La Huelga, Program to Gather Food for Valley Farm Workers, 1966-1967
three pamphlets with schedules of food drives
5 Catholic Church, Involvement of in Valley Farm Workers Movement, 1966-1967
material on, Statement of Purpose, Farm Workers Association, "Our Common Mission," speech and translation (Catholic Bishop's Statement), Report on Rio Grande Valley
6 Contracts Proposed by Farm Workers, 1966
7 Farm and Farm Worker Income, 1954-1968
pamphlet on farm worker income in 1953-1954; C.O.M.I.D.A., Committee on Minimum Income for Deprived Americans, pamphlet on minimum wage law - 1965; "They're Skilled Workers Now," by Judi Daniel, article - 1968; chart of Bracero wages - 1960
8 "Farm Workers Newsletter,", 1966 - August, 1974
9 Grape Boycott, 1966-1969
handbills, general, miscellaneous material, "The Grape Boycott … Why it Has to be," pamphlet by Chávez; Chávez on Violence, 1969; song lyrics
10 Grape Boycott, 1967
handbills, Austin, Texas; information on grape strike, Starr County
11 Grape Boycott, 1969-1970
handbills, Fort Worth, Texas; information on grape strike; International Boycott Day information, May 10, 1969
12 La Huelga (The Strike), 1966-1967
Handbills, UFWOC; strike material, clippings, Spanish handbills, AFL-CIO Secretary's Report, I.W.A. membership card
13 March on Austin, Valley Farmworkers, 1966
memos, strike information, strike schedule, handwritten materials, speeches, reports, statement of Church Concern for Farm Labor Relations
14 El Malcriado, McAllen, Texas (in Spanish), 1967
14a Miscellaneous Strike Material, 1967-1970
cancelled checks, summaries of radio programs, 1969; miscellaneous material, newsletters, Region 5, UAW; affidavits, agenda, speech, correspondence
15 Missouri Pacific Railroad vs. UFWOC, Starr County, 1967
summons, plaintiff's original petition
16 "El Mosquito del Rio", 1967
Newsletters, UFWOC, Starr County, 2 newsletters
17 Mexican-American Population as Percentage of Southwestern Population, Map, 1960
map, chart
Box Folder
9 1 National Farm Workers Association, Ballots for Temporary Officers, 1966
2 Nelson, Eugene, Organizer, UFWOC, Correspondence, Notes, Speeches, 1966
3 Orendain, Antonio, Organizer for UFWOC, 1968-1969
4 Padilla, Gilbert, Vice-President, UFWOC, 1967
4a Safeway Boycott Misc. Rec., circa 1973
5 Senate Subcommittee on Migratory Labor Hearings, June, 1967
5a Skoog, Larry - Corr. and Misc. Rec., re: UFWOC, 1966-1967
6 Starr County, Bond Issue
7 Sugar Beet Hearings, Testimony of William Chandler, UFWOC, McAllen, 1967
8 Texas Council on Migrant Labor Reports and Minutes
9 Texas Rangers, Affidavits on Brutality, 1967
10 Transportation of Migrant Workers, Legislation Applicable to 1955


Series III. Articles and Essays

Box Folder
9 11 Adair, Doug, "Texas Strike,"Liberation, 1967
12 Allen, Ruth, Mexican Peon Women in Texas, 1931
13 Ball, Charles, "Why All This Fuss about Braceros,"Farm Journal, 1959
14 Beecher, John, "To The Rear, March!", 1965
15 Brochaway, Allan R., 1967
Eugene L. Boutilier, "Huelga" and "Legislation; An Answer,"Concern
16 Brown, Newell, Assistant Secretary of Labor, "The Mexican Importation Program,", 1958
17 Chávez, César and Bayard Rustin, "Right to Work" Laws: A Trap for America's Minorities,", 1967
18 "The Civil Rights Status of Spanish-Speaking Americans in Kleberg, Nueces, and San Patricio Counties, Texas, U. S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1967
19 Coles, Robert, The Migrant Farmer: A Psychiatric Study, 1965
20 Coles, Robert and Harry Huge, "Peonage in Florida,"New Republic, 1969
21 Down in the Valley Texas State Federation of Labor, 1956
22 "Ferment in The Fields, Farm Workers Build a Union,"The American Federalist, 1967
23 Tape Recordings Of Farm Worker's Radio Programs, 1969
3 tapes.
For description of contents see Synopsis of Tapes.
24 Galarza Ernesto, Strangers in our Fields, 1956
25 Gorman, Patrick E., "The Forgotten Farm Worker", 1959
reprinted from IUD Digest, Winter
Box Folder
9a 1 "The Grapes of Wrath"Time, 1969
2 Graves, Ruth, Effects of the Bracero Program, 1961
3 Griffin, Dan, and Justin Soleta, "The Migrant Story,"Ave Maria, 1966
4 Hawley, Ellis, "The Politics of the Mexican Labor Issue, 1950-1965," Agricultural History, 1966
4a Hill, Herbert, "No Harvest for the Reaper", undated
5 Jacobs, Paul, "The Forgotten People,"Reporter, 1959
6 Kopkind, Andrew, "The Grape Pickers Strike,"New Republic, 1966
7 Lucey, Bishop Robert E., "Migrant Labor: A Moral Problem,", 1959
8 Martin, Francis, Spring and The Migrants, "Educational Leadership, 1951
9 Maverick, Maury, Jr., "March for a Ghastly Recompence in Texas,"New Republic, 1966
10 Miller, Paul B., and John Glasgow, "Job Crisis Along the Rio Grande,"Monthly Labor Review, 1968
11 Nelson, Eastin and Frederic Meyers Labor Requirements and Labor Resources In the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas, 1950
12 Nordyke, Lewis, Excerpts from The Truth About Texas
13 Padilla, Gilbert, "Farm Workers Need Bargaining Rights,"Labor Today, 1967
13a Proceedings of the State Conference on Domestic Migrant Farm Workers, 1961
14 Raskin, A. H., "For 500,000--Still Tobacco Road,"New York Times Magazine, 1960
15 Sanchez, George, and Lyle Saunders, "Wetbacks,", 1949
16 "Sons of Zapata: A Brief Photographic History of The Farm Workers Strike in Texas," UFWOC, 1967
16a "The Struggle of the Texas Farm Workers' Union"
17 "Texas Migrant Labor: The 1964 Migration," The Good Neighbor Commission of Texas, 1964
18 "Texas Migrant Labor: The 1966 Migration," The Good Neighbor Commission of Texas, 1966
19 Texas Observer, Articles and Essays on Mexican-Americans, 1962-1967
20 Turner, William, "No Dice for Braceros,"Ramparts, 1965
21 Valdez, Luiz, et al., "La Esperanza del Campesino por Justicia," UFWOC, 1966
22 "Viva La Causa! The Rising Expectations of the Mexican-American, "I.U.D. Agenda, 1966
23 "What is Paso?" Political Association of Spanish-Speaking Organization (PASO), 1963
24 "What Price Wetbacks," American G I Forum of Texas and Texas State Federation of Labor, 1953
Photos from book in AR110-7-5-8 and AR110-7-5-9
25 Wieck, Paul, "Whose Texas?"New Republic, 1968
25a Zermano, Andy, and El Malcriado, Don Sotaco, Cartoons from the Delano Strike, 1966
26 Farm Workers - Miscellaneous Articles


Series IV. Photocopies of Clippings from Scrapbook, "Starr County's Current Events"

Box Folder
10 1 Starr County's Current Events of 1966, Book 1
2 Starr County's Current Events of 1966, Book 2
Box Folder
10a 1 Starr County's Current Events of 1967, Book 3, part 1
2 Starr County's Current Events of 1967, Book 3, part 2
3 Starr County's Current Events of 1967, Book 3, part 3


Series V. Scrapbook

Box Folder
OS1 8 Scrapbook of Valley Farm Workers, 1966-1967


Series VI. Newspapers and Miscellaneous Materials

Box Folder
OS8 1 Unitarian Universalist Migrant Ministry - Newsletters, mailings, supplement, December, 1975-February, 1977, undated.
2 Miscellaneous - Pamphlet, "What Are the Facts Behind the Lettuce Boycott?" Mailing; UFWA, AFL-CIO, Election Statistical Tally; Handout; Photographs (3), 1974-1977, undated.
2 Article Reprint - "Is Chavez Beaten?" from The New York Times Magazine, September 15, 1974
2 El Grito del Norte, Vol. v., No. 2, April 10, 1972
2 RWDSU Record, Vol. 23, No. 2, February, 1976.
2 RWDSU Record, Vol. 23, No. 12, December, 1976
2 La Voz del Cuhamil, San Juan, Texas, June, 1975-August, 1975
2 El Cuhamil, San Juan, Texas, August, 1975-October, 1976
2 Duplicates of La Voz del Cuhamil, El Cuhamil, ""The Huelga"," and ""Delano Grapevine"," 1975-1976, undated.
1 Scrapbook of Valley Farm Workers, 1966-1967


Synopsis of Tapes

Tape Side
1 1 Date: 8-26-69
Synopsis: Antonio Orendain speaking for the United Farm Workers' Organizing Committee, Re: The Mexican Nationals that come to work on farms in the U.S. and the economic problems they create for Mexican-Americans.
1 Date: 8-27-69
Synopsis: Antonio Orendain and Cesar Chavez speaking for the United Farm Workers' Organizing Committee. Re: The strikes and labor problems in Texas and California.
2 Date: 8-28-69
Synopsis: Antonio Orendain and Cesar Chavez speaking for the United Farm Workers' Organizing Committee, Re: The low wages paid to Mexican-American farm workers.
2 Date: 8-29-69
Synopsis: A store owner comments on complaints from her customers (the store serves a Mexican-American community).
Tape Side
2 1 Date: 8-30-69
[No synopsis given.]
1 Date: 9-1-69
Synopsis: Antonio Orendain speaking for the United Farm Workers' Organizing Committee, Re: Fund-raising campaign in Texas; the farm workers' strike in Los Angeles.
2 Date: 9-2-69
Synopsis: Antonio Orendain and Phillip Veracruz speaking for the United Farm Workers' Organizing Committee, Re: The strike in California; the problems that Mexican National farm workers (who enter the U.S. illegally) create for the Mexican-American farm workers.
2 Date: 9-3-69
Synopsis: Antonio Orendain and Phillip Veracruz speaking for the United Farm Workers' Organizing Committee, Re: The labor problems Mexican-American farm workers are facing in California and Texas.
Tape Side
3 1 Date: 9-4-69
Synopsis: Antonio Orendain speaking for the United Farm Workers' Organizing Committee, Re: The low wages paid to Mexican-American farm workers due to the competition of the Mexican National farm laborers.
1 Date: 9-5-69
Synopsis: Antonio Orendain and Phillip Veracruz speaking for the United Farm Workers' Organizing Committee, Re: The Texas Rangers' violent attacks on Mexican-American farm workers; the need to organize.
2 Date: 9-6-69
Synopsis: Antonio Orendain and Mr. Hernadey speaking for the United Farm Workers' Organizing Committee, Re: Active Mexican-American organizations in the Southwest.
2 Date: 9-8-69
Synopsis: Antonio Orendain and Phillip Veracruz speaking for the United Farm Workers' Organizing Committee, Re: The Mexican Nationals and green carders; the strike in California.