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The UFWOC was successful in reaching rank and file union members by speaking at local meetings, showing movies to members, handing out leaflets at plants, encouraging female members and wives to write to Walter Reuther, and assigning a designated union man to as many locals as possible.
Despite such a purposeful strategy, however, relationships between the UFWOC and other unions were not without tension.
Government agencies, local ministries, and grassroots groups worked to address Michigan-specific issues while contributing to the national boycott actions of the UFWOC. By 1970,26 pieces of legislation concerning minimum wages, collective bargaining agreements, decent living and working conditions, and education for migrant children were introduced in the Michigan legislature.
(199) The acto was created to combat the power and wealth of the growers that made organizing and striking so difficult for the UFWOC. (200) In response, Valdez and the actors created an acto where the farmworker and the boss (el patroncito) exchange roles so that each figure understands what it is like to be in the shoes of the other.
One academic argues that the role reversal in Las Dos Caras represents the transfer of external social trappings that determine social status and in effect "can topple the entire social order." (217) Elam, on the other hand, believes that the social order was inverted as the hierarchy remained in place in order to symbolize the power deflation that the UFWOC was attempting to effect in actuality.
To the extent that the UFWOC succeeded, it was in large part because of its ability to draw on cultural heuristics and transcendent questions of justice.
(52) So when Cohen discovered that nine workers in a peanut-shelling shed were NLRA employees, he quickly created the "United Peanut Shelling Workers of America," a new union under the AFL-CIO, successfully divesting the UFWOC of any NLRA covered employees.
In 1968, with the boycott in full swing, Chavez and the UFWOC were put in a difficult position after the assassination of Robert Kennedy.
Without UFWOC support, no efforts to incorporate farm workers would succeed.
By 1970, the boycott had had a tremendous impact, resulting in the UFWOC's holding contracts with 85 percent of the table-grape ranches.
The Teamsters sought to take advantage of the willingness to sign contracts, and their efforts to form a farm worker union of their own would drive a series of violent confrontations and create pressures on the UFWOC that would ultimately lead to a legislative solution.
In 1967, the two unions had even reached a temporary agreement: the UFWOC had jurisdiction over the fields and the Teamsters over the canneries, packing sheds and warehouses, trucking and processing facilities.