Cesar Chavez, leader of the United Farmworkers Union, said at the Boston premier of the UFW film "Fighting For Our Lives" last night, that the Farmworkers would emerge victorious from their strike against the Gallo Wine Co.
"Ernest Gallo has this big problem of how to save face. If Gallo Wine was a publicly owned company they'd be negotiating already," Chavez said before the premiere in the Leverett House dining room.
About 500 people donated $25 each to hear Chavez and to attend the film, a documentary about the 1973 farmworkers strike.
If Gallo wasn't hurting, Chavez added, he wouldn't be spending his money taking out full page newspaper ads in Boston, New York and Los Angeles.
"He's running scared," Chavez said.
Although the audience showed great diversity in age and dress, they responded to Chavez with unanimous enthusiasm as he spoke.
Chavez also called for support of the farmworkers' boycott against non-union lettuce and grapes.
The boycott has caused the prices of lettuce and grapes to drop drastically, Chavez said, "to the point where they were giving grapes away in supermarkets."
The owner of Gallo Wine "expects us to leave the Gallo boycott and go after grapes, but we're going to fool him and go after both," Chavez said.
Robert Petronella, international vice president and director for District 6 of the Amalgamated Meatcutters and Butcher Workmen, AFL-CIO, spoke earlier in the evening.
Petronella said, "the AFL-CIO is behind the farmworkers all the way, and we'll stay in the fight until victory is the farmworkers'."
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