By PAUL MAVERICK
United Farm Workers President Arturo Rodriguez appeared at the AFL-CIO’s massive “We Are One” labor rally at Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles, on Saturday, March 26, 2011. Surrounded by farmworkers and their families, he spoke before a crowd of 20,000 working people from all over the Western United States and Canada. Rodriguez pledged farmworker support to labor’s recent upsurge, in response to attacks on collective bargaining by Republican governors around the country.
Rodriguez, only the second president in the history of the union founded by Cesar Chavez, shared his gratitude for the support given the UFW in their times of need, and offered in return, “We will always be there for your struggles.” He went on to stress the importance of showing “that nobody can divide the House of Labor.” He also described the UFW’s most recent victory, winning a contract with Gallo of Sonoma Wine Company; he added that their wine “tastes a lot better now that it’s union-picked!” Rodriguez closed by inviting the other unions to share in the Farmworkers’ upcoming 50th anniversary, in May 2012, and ended by saying, “Que viva los trabajadores – long live the workers!”
The video below contains his full remarks from the rally.