National Geographic : 1979 May
(Continuedfrom page 705) Cesar Cha vez's United Farm Workers (UFW) by offer ing an attractive package of worker benefits. The valley wanted to solve its own problems. With Chavez's union already es tablished at Christian Brothers, it was a time of tension as grower Ren Harris went from door to door to galvanize support. Seventy-eight growers and wineries are now under contract to the foundation; workers earn an average of four dollars an hour during harvest, and have medical and retirement plans and paid vacations. Shak ing his head over young activists who con tinue to work for the spread of the UFW, Rafael says, "They complain before they work. If we are willing to work, the rights are there for us!" "We don't work the way we used to," says Ambrosio Velazquez, defending the union he helped negotiate at Christian Brothers in 1967. Sharing his company lunch of tacos cooked over a little fire built between the rows, he says, "And we do a better job be cause we aren't so nervous. We have job protection. If a worker can't do a job, they move him, but they seldom fire him." Louis Martini knows that holding on to the good life can be as perilous as achieving it. Louis (page 707), the gentle giant who is ,91W 1% Kai 1.