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The KUT Longhorn Radio Network Presents: Mexican American Experience Collection

Audio recordings including interviews, music, and informational programs related to the Mexican American community and their concerns in the series "The Mexican American Experience" and "A esta hora conversamos" from the Longhorn Radio Network, 1976-1982.

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Texas Farm Workers—The Right To Organize
Program #

Armando Gutiérrez
Jesus Moya
Aug 1, 1978

Texas Farm Workers—The Right to Organize

Guest Jesus Moya, an organizer for the Texas Farm Worker Union, discusses the history of the union and its efforts to repeal Right to Work Laws. Moya explains that the TFWU formed in 1960, with the assistance of the United Farm Workers. They split from the UFW after the leadership decided it would focus solely on California. They then formed an independent union that struggles for better working conditions and wages for Texas farm workers. The union is also working on a campaign to repeal section 14b of the Taft-Hartley Act, which permits right to work laws. These laws weaken unionizing efforts because they prohibit closed shops and thus diminish union power. Moya then describes their efforts to meet with Jimmy Carter during their march to Washington and his refusal to do so.

Moya explains that undocumented workers are not the cause of union problems, but rather it is the system of capitalism and the structure of agribusiness that divides workers and pits them against each other. To combat those divisions, the TFWU works hard to promote unions among people regardless of nationality and has initiated talks and programs with workers in Mexico on how to protect themselves from exploitation in guest worker programs and border violence. Moya concludes that they will continue organizing in South Texas and could use more public support, both financial and political.


Center for Mexican American Studies | Department of History | The Benson Latin American Collection

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