Cesar Chavez honored by Labor Department, Los Angeles


A man holds a portrait of Cesar Chavez the founder of the United Farm Workers of America. The Labor Department named an auditorium after Chavez on March 26, 2012, and Los Angeles is preparing to mark his legacy with volunteerism and holidays.


David McNew

As a tribute to Cesar Chavez and the farm workers movement, the US Labor Department named an auditorium at its Washington, DC headquarters after the California organizer on Monday, said The Chicago Tribune.

Pioneers of the farm workers movement were also added to the department's Hall of Honor, which recognizes Americans who improved the quality of life for workers, said The Chicago Tribune. Chavez was added to the Hall in 1998, after his death at the age of 66 in 1993.

US Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said, "Coming up the ranks in California, I had the privilege of working alongside many UFW leaders. No challenge was too great. No corporation or politician was too powerful. They built a union unlike any that had come before it. They turned a community into a movement -- and that movement became a powerful force for change."

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The Los Angeles Times reported that the city of Los Angeles closed its offices and libraries on Monday, in honor of Chavez. The Los Angeles Unified School District and the LA County Superior Court are scheduled to be closed on Friday.

Cesar Chavez Day was established on March 31, in 2000, by state legislators and former Gov. Gray Davis.

Chavez, who would have turned 85 this year, was a migrant farmworker who co-founded the National Farm Workers Association in the 1960s. The county will be commemorating his legacy with a week of volunteerism, said the local CBS News.

"Cesar Chavez is an American hero, not only for his accomplishments as a labor organizer but as a civil rights leader and a non-violent protestor. Cesar Chavez exemplified what it means to be an American through his lifelong commitment to democracy, justice, and dignity for working people," said Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina, in a statement, according to CBS News.

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