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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

OPA News Release: [03/29/2012]
Contact Name: Adrian Haro
Phone Number: (202) 693-4665
Release Number: 12-0621-NAT

Statement by Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis on 85th birthday of César E. Chávez

WASHINGTON — Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today issued the following statement on the anniversary of the birthday of César E. Chávez:

"Saturday, March 31, will mark the 85th anniversary of the birth of César E. Chávez, a man whose life of struggle for equality and justice is one of America's most powerful stories of courage and victory. That story is a personal inspiration for me, a farm worker's daughter from the same California land where César E. Chávez came of age as a migrant farm worker facing discrimination, poverty and dangerous working conditions.

"This week, my department was honored to welcome members of the Chávez family and current and former leaders of the United Farm Workers of America to induct the pioneers of the farm worker movement into the new Labor Hall of Honor and dedicate our auditorium to César E. Chávez. With Dr. Jill Biden, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Labor Department employees and many other dear friends, I had the great pleasure to celebrate the enduring contributions that César E. Chávez made to La Causa — the ongoing pursuit of social justice and workers' rights. President Obama has proclaimed March 31, 2012, to be ‘César Chávez Day.'

"I'm proud to serve as United States secretary of labor in an administration that's committed to enforcing our labor laws for every worker in this country. All working people are entitled to dignity and respect. All workers in America have the right to safe working conditions. All workers have the right to be paid the full wages they are owed. César E. Chávez faced harsh and sometimes dangerous opposition to help us live up to these ideals, and I promise to carry on that legacy until every farm worker in every community claims the dignity that is his or her birthright.

"As we continue the struggle, we look to César E. Chávez and the pioneers of the farm worker movement to show us the way."