Cesar Chavez

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to help Cesar's cause

"Out of date merchandise"

Out of date merchandise

It must have been sometime around 1978 or 1979, when the Iceberg Lettuce Boycott was going on.  The UFW had organised a boycott of grocery stores in Florida that sold Iceberg Lettuce. The strategy worked like this. Some of us would enter a grocery story, Winn-Dixie, Publix etc and simply go to the produce section or if necessary enter the back of the store to see if any Iceberg lettuce was being sold. We would then ask the store manager if he would remove the lettuce but if not then   we would make an investigation and examination of the grocery shelves to determine if any merchandise had expired and was still of the shelf to be sold or if there was a price difference between the advertised price and the shelf price. Invariably we would find some merchandise that matched what we were looking for.  We would buy some of these items ourselves and then go outside the store in front of the main entrance, (nearly always the parking lot) and there we would set up a table and place our purchased merchandise on it and to the customers coming into the store we would inform them that this store was selling expired merchandise or improperly advertised merchandise and they were being, well, cheated. The store manager would get very upset at this and demand that we vacate our location, especially if we were on their property.  But we had made our point and it worked. The lettuce was removed from the store and the boycott succeeded. I was able to do this as I was on a sabbatical at the time and I did not have the time to follow up on all the details of the boycott struggle.