More than a Day Off

Wednesday, March 31, I set out on my vacation a quick trip up the hill to Reno for a little rest and relaxation. My co-worker Jerome and I had the holiday off and when combined with furlough Friday it made for a five day weekend with just one day of vacation required. I was pretty much a slacker on the whole trip and did not keep up on my blog.

I did however find some time to get on facebook and check up on my friends and co-workers. I was a bit alarmed to read a few posts concerning the holiday and people not understanding what the holiday represents. Cesar Chavez’s birthday, March 31, is celebrated in California as a state holiday, intended to promote service to the community in honor of Chavez’s life and work. Because I work for the State of California and I am in the Professional Engineers in California Government union I am more than honored to celebrate the holiday. As you probably know from reading my previous posts that the union and the State are currently waging a series of lawsuits over the furloughs that were implemented unilaterally by the governor.

I live and work in Fresno and that puts me very close to ground zero for much of the organizing work that Cesar performed. So in my part of the world yes this is a big deal. Chavez co-founded the National Farm Workers Association with Dolores Huerta which later was renamed the United Farm Workers. When Filipino farm workers initiated the Delano grape strike in 1965, Chavez led grape pickers on the historic farm workers march from Delano to Sacramento. The UFW encouraged all Americans to boycott table grapes as a show of support. The strike lasted five years and attracted national attention.

The man fought hard to make the world a better place and see that workers were treated fairly.

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