The Founding of a Migrant Farm Workers' Union (1966)

Obreros Unidos in Wisconsin


This 1968 article describes the founding of Obreros Unidos, a labor union started in Wisconsin in 1966 by Mexican-American civil rights activists and farm workers. After briefly describing seasonal agricultural work, it reviews the history of migrant workers in Wisconsin. It then discusses the 1966 march from Wautoma to Madison that focused public attention on the plight of Mexican-Americans who harvested crops on Wisconsin farms. It also describes the union's labor actions against the Burns and Sons potato processing plant in Almond, Wisconsin, and the cucumber harvesting operations of Libby, McNeil, & Libby in Waushara Co. These actions led to the official recognition of Obreros Unidos by the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission. The union published a newspaper, La Voz Mexicana, and provided educational, social service, and legal support for Wisconsin farm workers until 1971.


Related Topics: Wisconsin's Response to 20th-century change
20th-Century Immigration
Creator: Erenburg, Mark
Pub Data: Monthly Labor Review (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1968), Vol. 91 No. 6 (1968): 17-23.
Citation: Erenburg, Mark. "Obreros Unidos in Wisconsin." Monthly Labor Review, Vol. 91, No. 6 (1968): 17-23. Online facsimile at:  http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/turningpoints/search.asp?id=1698; Visited on: 11/23/2014
Join Now.