The collection documents Ruben Reyes and the Cannery Workers Committee's activities related to their fight against workplace
discrimination in the 1970s. It includes photographs, posters and bumper stickers, reports and court records, Cannery Worker
newspapers, news clippings, awards, newsletters, and a scrapbook.
Ruben C. Reyes was a Sacramento leader in the civil rights movement to end discrimination in the California canning industry.
He was a founder and chairman of the Cannery Workers Committee (CWC), which fought for better treatment for Latino and other
minority cannery workers. Reyes worked as a foreman at Libby, McNeill & Libby in Sacramento when he organized the CWC and
began speaking out about unfair treatment of Latino workers. Libby fired Reyes in 1972 after he requested leave to work for
the CWC. He sued the company and lost, but continued fighting for cannery workers' rights by lobbying politicians and civil
rights groups, and filing complaints and lawsuits against canneries and the Teamsters, who the CWC felt did not help its members
at the canneries. The CWC's actions resulted in findings of discrimination at the canneries by state and federal employment
commisions, and a federal case that led to canneries instating affirmative action programs. The group was active into the
2.5 Linear Feet
(1 half-manuscript box, 1 newspaper box, posters, and photographs)
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The collection is open for research.