July 28th, 2011
09:54 AM ET

Farm worker advocate Richard Chavez dies in California at 81

Richard Chavez, who dedicated more than three decades to the the farm worker movement, died Wednesday of complications from surgery in Bakersfield, California, the United Farm Workers union announced. He was 81.

The younger brother of UFW founder Cesar Chavez, Richard Chavez was the one who designed the black Aztec eagle that became the famous symbol for the organization.

The Chavez brothers grew up during the Depression outside of Yuma, Arizona, and when the family lost their farm, they became migrant farm workers in California fields, according to the UFW.

By the early 1960s, Richard Chavez began helping his brother create the foundation for the union, and by 1966 was working full-time for the movement, the UFW said on its website Wednesday.

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Filed under: Immigration • Labor • U.S.
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I ate lettuce right through the work actions.

    July 28, 2011 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  2. justathought

    Bakersfield California! I've been there many times on business, but there is no way that I would, live, work or want to die there!

    July 28, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  3. Koch Bros.

    We will move to Calif. and squash that union too.

    July 28, 2011 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  4. CSnSC

    @Koch Bros, I will bust the union from the inside for $100k.

    July 28, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Beauty is skin deep

      It shows how you would turn on a friend for money. Turncoat. You seem to be one of those people who could careless about the people around you. It is all about you. Being able to negotiate for wages eludes you. And are you the one that is in South Carolina and stole the Boeing plant planes from Seattle. Yeah I saw your post, it is in court now, South Carolina be proud because the only reason Boeing moved there was cheap labor. You get what you pay for. In your post I see that you would be a worker that has your nose up the big bosses pu-tu-ti. We call you brown noses.

      July 28, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jazzzzzzzz

    Hey Joey. Lettuce? Let us,entertain you. Let us be your friend.

    July 28, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  6. CSnSC

    I'm sure you do. But you are sitting at home on youre lazy ass while i'm here at work. Unions destroyed the American dream. I was union for nine years, I know what I'm talking about.

    July 28, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Beauty is skin deep

      You are on the computer at work, no wonder you loss your union job. Yeah let Koch get richer and take more jobs by buying the Govenors. You don't even know. You take the instance of you losing your job, maybe it is the politics and the way your slow to move South Carolina government works. Your government was Democrats till the 1960's. How is the republicans helped you, by stealing jobs from another state, just leaves another state jobless, and big corporations and business wins. They make all the money for CEO's bonuses and you get what they want you to have of that pie, the least they can give you.(Crappy insurance, crappy working conditions,breaks) All things that give you what you have in working at your job. Take away all unions and you take away the voice of the worker. The poverty level of your state is 33 out of 50 states. You are your own worst enemy of your state. Hard up for jobs makes easy pickens for those who want cheap labor. The state of Wisconsin and Walker, have you even read about the Koch Bros. or are you one of the russian Koch bros.

      July 28, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. CSnSC

    Not limber enough to brown nose myself, jobs got tight here too so I started contracting. Now I hand out the paychecks. Everyone seems glad to get them. So come on down and i'll pay you a fair wage too. Btw, 3 bedroom house rents for about 600 a mo here. Another plus for RTW.

    July 28, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Beauty is skin deep

      But that is what I am saying, there is another reason jobs are tight and why should we become a third world, less educated, outsourced job america? whew....We have less because they want us to have less.Only 1.9% have the american dream CS, the rest are worker bees never to achieve it any way, if money is what drives you? Why do you think there are only1.9% filthy rich? Do you find yourself lazy? No it is designed to keep workers paying for govenment and food and gas, how mush has your cost of living went up? and your work pay? not at the same rate? There are formulas to the banking and economics, you don't think the government uses them? South Carolina is beautiful and in some parts the oldest in history, but in this economy I say travel seems like it should be put off. Small business and people like you and me bring it back, only the rich tells us how much we pay to keep their government working. lWho listens to us, the worker bees. Good luck with your construction Co, Maybe you treat your workers good, only your workers know. Big Business needs regulation and a place where sweatshops cannot come to be again. Not being able to bargain is the tipping point for me.

      July 28, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  8. CSnSC

    Youre turn 'comerade'

    July 28, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Beauty is skin deep

      Sure one liners and i am wordy.

      July 28, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Anomic Office Drone

    Richard and Cesar Chavez made an incredible contribution to workers everywhere. It's a shame that in this country we see so many headlines about a few unions abusing their power instead of stories about the vast majority who just want financial stability and fairness in exchange for their work.

    July 28, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  10. CSnSC

    Keep drinking the commie kool-ade. I'm packing up fishing gear and heading to my beach house (paid for by low wage non union job). You need to see how life can be when youre not just a part of the collective. Maybe read a different book. I recomend Ayn Rand.

    July 28, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Beauty is skin deep

      I will but you are the one drinking the kool-aid brother, maybe just the other side of the glass? Happy fishing and don't get snagged by your sharks off the coast.

      July 28, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  11. CSnSC

    I agree with 90% of your argument. I just dont see unions, as they exist now, as a solution.

    July 28, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Beauty is skin deep

      Some are so weak they do little to nothing others are so big they sop the life out of helping the business I agee, but no bargaining power is dangerous for the worker.

      July 28, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Well......

    I think all unions are started for a good reason, but then the leaders get greedy and wreck it for all.

    July 28, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Beauty is skin deep

      Exactly, because you never get rich working for them, just comfortable. I just want the oil companies that pay none and had a 41% profit over last year to pay some taxes and the business' that choose not to keep their business in the states has to pay to either bring them in. Then it does not make it so easy to have inhuman work schedules for the chinese or india or where ever they think will be cheap labor.

      July 28, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Paul Dalnoky

    koch brothers, ed and louis koch of new york?

    July 28, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Beauty is skin deep

      Charles and David Koch, they bought the election for Walker in Wisconsin and Wiscosin was sorry. Just google Koch Bros and Wisconsin, it wil come up. You will understand CS and my heated debate starts there and ends up we are not far from each other in the end, working class looking hard to find some relief from our people in Washington. I think we both would like "Cut the Crap Act" passed.

      July 28, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
  14. CSnSC

    @Beauty, I usualy dont do the 'one liner' thing. Youre right, its cheap and easy. Rough day. Thank you for the spirited debate, gave me much to consider.

    July 28, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Beauty is skin deep

      And you have given me much to think about also. I hope fishing went well. It is too hot here for the fish unless you go early in the morning or very late evening. Hope also your business is a great success, i think the smaller family or word of mouth business' do well right now. That is if you can afford to have something done. See you on the debt thread CS.
      Hope to see Banasy also. (Smiley face here)

      July 28, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ CSnSC:
    I agree with you about unions. I had to join one when I was 21 and must maintain my membership to work, although I almost never do anything where my fee comes through the union.
    My union has sent much classical recording work abroad by insisting that it compete with pop earnings.
    I'm completely in favor of moving work to RTW states, and of Ayn Rand.
    And Nietzsche.
    You also argue very politely.

    July 28, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
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