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PBS to air documentary on labor rights leader

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A documentary on Delores Huerta, an activist known for her focus on racial and labor issues, premieres Tuesday evening on PBS stations nationwide.

 

Huerta helped form the National Farm Workers Association, which led to some of the first protections for farm workers in the United States. She says the associations formation was a major step in the fight for workers’ rights.

“We had a whole collective bargaining agreement that included an arbitration clause, protection from pesticides, unemployment insurance, which at that time was not a law yet,” Huerta said. “And we were able to get a medical plan and pension plan for workers.”   

Today, she is still active, supporting a variety of causes ranging from equal education opportunities to LGBTQ rights. And she says there is still much to be done when it comes to helping migrants who are in the United States.

“Right now, we have a huge issue with the farm worker community. That is, the administration wants to bring in more H2A workers,” Huerta said. “These are foreign contract workers that come in to the United States that are not covered by social security, unemployment insurance. They can’t become residents or citizens of the United States of America.”

She’s been on the forefront of civil rights issues since the 1960s… and in 2012, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her efforts.

“One thing about having that medal is because of the fact that I was a community organizer. This is hardly ever respected the fact that people are out there, in the grass-roots level getting people together, getting changes in the community, and being able to pass legislation that will help people and this is what my life has been dedicated to, to making it happen.”

Huerta says she continues to fight for things like equal school opportunity, healthcare, civil engagement, and LGBT rights.

 

Today, at age 87, Huerta continues to be a voice for groups of people who are often marginalized in today’s society… including LGBTQ individuals, migrants, and minorities.

The documentary, “Dolores,” premieres on PBS’ Independent Lens Tuesday evening at 9pm.