Mexican American women’s contribution to the success of labor struggles can be seen in the movie Salt of the Earth, which is based on a 1951 strike by Chicano miners in New Mexico.
When the men were forbidden to walk the picket lines, the women took over and were not stopped by tear gas or arrests. The strikers eventually won.
Since the early 1960s, the most visible Chicana labor leader has been Dolores Huerta, who helped Cesar Chavez start the United Farm Workers in 1962.
In 1968-69 she helped organize a major national boycott of grapes, which led to better pay and working conditions for the grape pickers.
Even though she was brutally beaten by police and almost lost her life, she continued to fight for farm workers, recently with a 1997 crusade to help strawberry pickers in California.