DELANO — Robert F. Kennedy Jr. spoke at the 50th anniversary of the Delano Grape Strike Oct. 3, returning to the historic site where his father greeted Cesar Chavez during Chavez’s fast for nonviolence, Delano’s “Forty Acres” complex, now a national historic landmark.
Farmworker leaders from a number of California unionized ranches — including some of the largest in the state and nation — joined in thanking the 1965 strikers for the gains they enjoy.
Grape strikers who walked out of wine and table grape vineyards in September 1965 gathered to observe a milestone of the American civil rights movement begun by Filipino and Latino farm workers in a dusty Kern County farm town. It spread across North America and western Europe as millions boycotted grapes and other products.
The 1960s strikers and boycotters were joined by farmworker leaders from companies under United Farm Workers’ contracts, workers fighting for union contract protections and some who have recently walked out on strike. They represent thousands of farmworkers in wine and table grapes, tomatoes and vegetables and strawberries and mushrooms.