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Reyes (Ruben) Cannery Workers Committee collection
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Collection Overview
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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 early 1980s.
2.5 Linear Feet (1 half-manuscript box, 1 newspaper box, posters, and photographs)
All requests to publish or quote from private manuscripts held by the Center for Sacramento History (CSH) must be submitted in writing to csh@cityofsacramento.org. Permission for publication is given on behalf of CSH as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the patron. No permission is necessary to publish or quote from public records.
The collection is open for research.