Song of the Stubborn One Thousand


Song of the Stubborn One Thousand: The Watsonville Canning Strike, 1985-87
An account of the successful strike by mainly Mexican women workers at the largest plant in Watsonville, California.

On September 9, 1985, one thousand mainly Mexican women workers in Watsonville, California, the “frozen food capital of the world,” were forced out on strike in response to an attempt by Watsonville Canning owner, Mort Console, to break their union. They returned to work eighteen months later. Not one had crossed the picket line. A moribund union has been revitalized, and Watsonville’s Latino majority emerged as a major force in local politics.

At a time when organized labor was in headlong retreat, the Watsonville Canning strike was a dramatic show of the power of women workers, whose struggle became a rallying point for the Chicano movement.

Apart from its sheer drama, the strikers’ story illuminates the challenges facing a group of ordinary working people who waged a protracted and ultimately successful struggle against seemingly insurmountable odds.

Availability: 3 in stock


  • Paperback: 237 pages
  • Publisher: Haymarket Books (October 25, 2016)
  • Language: English

Additional information

Weight 12 oz
Dimensions 5.4 × 0.7 × 8.4 in


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Peter Shapiro is a retired letter carrier and longtime labor journalist. His union paper was repeatedly honored during his tenure as editor, and he has published in Labor NotesLabor Studies JournalUnity, and The Nation.