Cesar Chavez

Tell us what you did
to help Cesar's cause

"Farmworker victory at Chateau Ste. Michelle"

For several years in the 1990s, I worked with the Farmworker Support Group in Seattle, WA.  Our goal was to put public pressure on the winery of Chateau Ste. Michelle by way of boycotting the wine at local restaurants.  Weekly we would go to a restaurant called The Keg to ask customers to demand management stop carrying the wines.  Also, on a number of occasions we would travel out to the winery headquarters in Woodinville, WA to do larger actions there.  Once, I was almost run over by the secretary to the CEO in her car because I had made her so angry during our picketing.  After numerous years, Chateau Ste. Michelle finally allowed the farmworkers to have a union vote, and of course the UFW won.

On thing that we did for our weekly pickets was to write a song listing all the wine brands that we would sing accompanied by an accordion:

Columbia Crest - it sure ain’t the best - ‘cuz the farmworkers don’t have a union.
Villa Mount Eden - keeps ‘em from eatin’ - ‘cuz the farmworkers don’t have a union.
Conn Creek, Snoqualmie - they sure appall me -‘cuz the farmworkers don’t have a union.
Chateau Ste. Michelle - you can all go to hell - ‘cuz the farmworkers don’t have a union.
So while you’re in the keg, plead and beg to get these damn wines off the table.
When you get back home, write ‘em a note, phone ‘em or leave a cable.
So the farmworkers can have a union!  So the farmworkers can have a union!

Como siempre!
Todd Tollefson