My involvement with the UFW started with the boycott of grapes from the Central Valley of California. At first I was involved in picketing Safeway, and Lucky’s Supermarkets in the city of Berkeley Calif. Soon after however, the tactic of SHOP IN’S became the order of the day. Now, I wish to this day that I had kept track of the number of shopping carts that I filled, as though I were shopping to fill my cupboards and refridgerator, only to take the cart to the checkout counter and suddenly realize that I had “forgot my wallet”. I would return a day or two later, with my wallet, but I had left my money at home, imagine that! Lucky’s market took the brunt of my displeasure with the fact that they carried non-union grapes from the Central Valley.
Some years later, I became a worker on the San Francisco Waterfront and every Payday Friday, would make a small contribution to UFW at the S.F. Ferry Building, where Brother Don Watson had set up a table every week, in support of the UFW. As a longshoreman on the S.F. docks, I was never prouder of my union than the day we took the position that boycotted grapes were “HOT CARGO” and refused to load grapes for shipment overseas.
Hasta la Victoria Siempre!
Bill Proctor, ILWU Longshore, retired