Home > Organizing > President's Message

Remembering farm worker champion Walter Reuther

On the 45th anniversary of his passing the farm worker movement remembers visionary United Auto Workers President Walter P. Reuther. He was the first national labor leader to unequivocally embrace the Delano grape strikers in December 1965, defying an official ban by marching down Main Street in Delano holding a “Huelga” sign with Cesar Chavez and Larry Itliong, and supplying substantial financial support throughout the five-year strike and boycott. Reuther inspired Cesar Chavez during the 1960s to begin what today is the Cesar Chavez Foundation, helping farm workers and other poor working families overcome crippling dilemmas they confront outside the workplace in the community. Chavez attended services for Reuther and his wife, May, in Detroit following their deaths in a tragic plane crash.