When we were picketing grocery stores in Pontiac back in the 1970s, Burger King had a commercial that went like this: “Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce, special orders don’t upset us”. So we made up our own version:
Don’t buy Gallo, don’t buy lettuce
Don’t buy grapes, that will upset us
All we say is farm workers deserve better pay
The UFW families that were here in Michigan leading the boycott taught us how to sing “We Shall Overcome” in Spanish and I still can sing it. Sometimes we had lunch together and the women made such wonderful tamales. There was a genuine spirit of solidarity among us and warm friendships developed.
Having grown up in a conservative family, I had no previous experience with boycotts, unions or picketing. The UFW boycott opened my eyes and mind to the injustice so many workers face on the job every day. I have never bought head lettuce since the day I first walked that picket line.