Californians will pay tribute to the late Cesar E. Chavez, a labor organizer and farmworker activist, by honoring his birthday as a state holiday Saturday.
Chavez was at the forefront of a movement that would change the lives of many agricultural workers in this country. With the emergence of the United Farm Workers, which he founded, a unified voice of agricultural workers was heard for the first time.
As we honor him, let us not forget what he fought for — livable wages, humane working conditions, agricultural workers' rights, access to health care and safe and decent housing.
Although many have fought for the cause and many injustices have been corrected, exploitation continues. Almost 40 years have passed, and the media is still covering the travesties of agricultural workers living in deplorable conditions in caves, parking lots and cars. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration ranks farm work as the most dangerous occupation in the United States.