Farm Labor Disputes

Farm Labor Disputes

The 1970s were a time of unrest for agricultural workers. Picketing in front of stores selling produce not picked by members of labor unions and lawsuits against farms and grocery stores were common. In an attempt to smooth relations between agricultural workers and employers, the State of Arizona founded the Agricultural Employment Relations Board (AERB) in 1972. The decade remained tumultuous, however—United Farm Workers union even sued the state of Arizona, arguing that the bill that founded the AERB was unconstitutional.

Read About It

Use the document analysis sheet and the photograph analysis sheet to uncover clues about the people that created the documents. 

Understand It

  1. What was the AERB? What did it do?
  2. What were the names of the unions that represented farmworkers in Arizona? What were working conditions for farmworkers like?
  3. Who created the documents linked below? What role did they have in the disputes between the state, growers, and grocery stores? Are the documents they created biased?
  4. What rights are farm workers entitled to? If you had been called on to settle the disputes between the farm workers, growers, and the State of Arizona, how would you have done it, and why?

Explore More

Visit the websites below to learn more. Based on this new information, have your answers to the questions above changed?

Topic

Labor and Economics

Decade

1970s