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Agricultural Labor

Primary sources on agricultural workers available in the Kheel Center for Labor Management Documentation and Archives:

  • Adams, Leonard P. Papers. /3046
    Contains correspondence, background material, field data, working, papers and final copies of a report written under the project title, “Viable farmer worker relationships; A study of selected cases in N.Y.S. in 1966” by Professor Adams, R.B. How, and Larson.

  • American Association for Labor Legislation. Series 1, Subseries 8. Correspondence, 1940-1943. # 5001-01-08mf. 3 microfilm reels.
    The American Association for Labor Legislation was formed to promote uniformity of labor legislation and to encourage the study of labor conditions with a view toward promoting desirable legislation. Includes correspondence relating to the need for extending social security protection to farm workers; and to a proposed joint meeting of the AALL and the Rural Sociological Society to discuss Mexican workers in the United States. Unpublished guide and name index available.

  • Boyle, Louise. Southern Tenant Farmers Union Research Files. 2 linear ft. Collection #5859.
    Research files collected by Louise Boyle, a photographer who documented STFU farm families. The STFU was a biracial union. Includes 150 of her photographs.

  • Chavez, Cesar. “The Revolution of the Urban Poor.” Tape, 37/7/tr. 116
    Lecture by Mr. Chavez, then Director, United Farm Workers Organizing Committee relative to the Delano Grape Strike and organizing efforts. Given on the Cornell campus on April 23, 2967.

  • Cesar Chavez and United Farm Workers, FBI File on. United States Federal Bureau of Investigation. #6068mf. 2 reels microfilm.
    Cesar Chavez (1927 1993) was one of the people who helped organize the union that became the United Farm Workers of America, working with what was largely a minority and immigrant population working under detrimental conditions in the California fields and groves. Because of his work as organizer, the FBI monitored his efforts closely. This collection reflects the FBI surveillance of his work during the 1960s. Published guide available.

  • Consumers League of New York, Records, 1920 1960. #5307. 20 ft. Lobbying organization.
    Contains minutes, correspondence, reports, surveys, research material, photographs and publications. The bulk of the collection is concerned with migrant labor in New York. Activities of the League include legislative effort toward improving conditions for migrant farm workers through education, better wages and hours, health standards, and housing. Also documented is their work on disability and unemployment insurance. Unpublished guide available.

  • Hawaiian Sugar Strike, 1924 25. Newsclippings. #5400mf 1 reel microfilm.
    Includes some correspondence and many newsclippings regarding the violent Filipino plantation worker’s strike. No guide available.

  • Immigration and Naturalization Service. Records. Part 2: Mexican immigration, 1906-1930. # 607417 microfilm reels.
    The collection consists of the Subject Correspondence central file of the Commissioner General of Immigration in Washington, D.C., and is organized by case file number. The materials document the United States government’s efforts to control the influx of immigrants and refugees from Mexico. The files also highlight the growing demand for labor. Substantial correspondence from agribusinesses illustrate lobbying efforts to pass provisions in favor of a more liberal admission policy for Mexican farm workers.
    Also included are details on contract labor and the temporary admission of alien labor during World War I years. Other files offer a wealth of social and economic information—vital statistics, origin and destination of aliens, reasons for coming to the US, educational level, occupation, and family size. The promulgation and implementation of immigration laws figure prominently in the collection, covering both the United States’ and Mexico’s efforts at regulation of migrant flows.

  • McDonald, Grace. Papers. #5203. 4 inches.
    Organized the California Farmer Labor Association and issued a monthly bulletin, Farmer Consumer Reporter. Mrs. McDonald also was very successful as a lobbyist and organizer on issues of small farmer welfare and labor cooperation. Collection contains publications and reports.

  • Morris, James, collector. Labor Related Tape Recordings. #1. On Agricultural organizing. 76 min.
    A documentary on early labor organizing in California’s agricultural areas, produced in 1960 during the beginning of the National Farm Workers’ Association.

  • National Institute of Labor Education. Series 3. Inter-organizational files, 1957-1971. #5545-03. 9 linear ft.
    Correspondence with union executives includes discussion of farm worker’s education.

  • Southern Tenant Farmers Union. H.L. Mitchell Speeches and Interviews. .5 linear ft. Collection #5204.
    Includes newsletters and pamphlets, speeches of interviews with H.L. Mitchell, cofounder of the STFU.

  • Southern Tenant Farmers Union Papers, 1934 1970, A Guide to the Microfilm Edition of the. (Glen Rock, NJ: Microfilming Corporation of America.) Located at the Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC. #5204mf. 60 reels microfilm.
    A biracial union of sharecroppers, tenant farmers, and small landowners. Contains correspondence, reports, newspapers, pamphlets, petitions, releases, surveys, speeches and interviews, sections of Howard A. Kester’s Papers and Socialist Party Archives. The papers for the early years are filled with materials relating to the union’s attempt to work with various New Deal agencies for the sharecropper’s benefit. An important part of the collection is the thousands of letters written by sharecroppers during the 1930s. The papers contain much correspondence and documentation re: organizing various groups of farmers, disaffiliation with CIO, farm mechanization impact, rural housing, social security, joining the AFL, and strikes. Original papers at Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina. Published guide available. Southern Tenant Farmers Union (See also: Boyle, Louise)