- Purchase/rental options available:
Farm work is among the most dangerous and unhealthy occupations in the United States, but efforts to address farm workers' health needs have been sporadic and inadequate. In the 1960s and 1970s, the United Farm Workers of America (UFW) famously organized workers in California's grape and lettuce fields and won national and international recognition through its boycott tactics. The UFW also opened several medical clinics, staffed by volunteer nurses and physicians, and created the Robert F. Kennedy Medical Plan, a medical insurance program, for its members. Both efforts were initially successful, but foundered in the face of many obstacles, including the reluctance of the UFW leadership to organize undocumented farm workers. However, the UFW's medical work laid the foundation for continuing efforts on behalf of farm workers' and undocumented people's right to health care.