UFW Office of the President: Arturo Rodriguez Records
Arturo Rodriguez became president of the United Farm Workers (UFW) in 1993 upon the death of Cesar Chavez, co-founder and president of the UFW from its start and Rodriguez’s father-in-law and mentor. Rodriguez was born in San Antonio, Texas in 1949 and attended Catholic schools there. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio in 1971 and a Masters degree in social work from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1973.
Rodriguez learned of Cesar Chavez’s work for farm workers from his parish priest in 1966 and became involved in the UFW’s grape boycott while in college. Thereafter, Rodriguez worked with the UFW and, after graduating from the University of Michigan, Rodriguez went to work full time for the UFW, initially organizing boycotts. His work with the UFW has included organizing boycott efforts, organizing union representation elections, teaching classes on union organizing, negotiating and administering union contracts, working on providing union services and settling worker grievances, campaigning for ballot propositions and political candidates, and serving on the UFW’s executive board.
Upon becoming president of the UFW, Rodriguez led a significant new field organizing and contract negotiating drive, adding substantial numbers of members to the UFW. During his presidency the UFW has also campaigned for new laws and regulations protecting farm workers, including immigrant workers, and sought to provide representation to farm workers by providing them with benefits and services through the UFW.
The UFW Office of the President: Arturo Rodriguez Records consists of files maintained by the UFW president’s office while both Cesar Chavez and Arturo Rodriguez served as president and includes files of collective bargaining agreements, events attended by the president and other UFW officials, public actions undertaken by the UFW, the president’s correspondence, the UFW’s constitutional conventions, the operations of the UFW’s benefit and service organizations, and UFW organizing and boycott efforts, as well as general office correspondence and phone logs for a number of UFW officers. There are also research publications. Files from Arturo Rodriguez, predating his election as president of the UFW are included.
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