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Early Labor Movements

In the early 20th century, Lewis Hine and Dorothea Lange used photography to document social conditions, foment reform, spur legislation and provide aid. Lange is best known for her work documenting the plight of struggling farmers during the Great Depression. Hines photos supported efforts to end child labor and lead to the first labor laws in the United States.

Other efforts to improve the lives of agricultural workers arose in the 1960s. In 1965 hundreds of Filipino farm workers declared a strike against vineyard owners in Delano, California demanding and increase in wages and piece rates (pay per box of grapes picked and the right to unionize.Those efforts were lead by the Agricultural Organizing Committee who, one week later, joined forces with the largely Mexican National Farm Workers Association co-founded by Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez. The two associations merged to become the United Farm Workers Association directed by Cesar Chavez who led the group's successful non-violent protests in the Delano grape strike of 1965–1970.

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