Asian/American Labor Leaders for May Day: Larry Itliong (1913-1977)

Larry Itliong was the president of the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee and led the 1965 grape strike. Later, he would go on to serve as an assistant director of the United Farm Workers under Cesar Chavez, and was instrumental to organizing Filipino American farmworkers.

This early wave of modern Filipino immigrants were known as manongs and often lived in segregated “Little Manilas” and were offered poor wages for very hard work. After the manongs voted to strike, Itliong approached Cesar Chavez, asking the National Farm Workers Association members not to cross their strike lines. Chavez and the NFWA agreed, forging an alliance that would lead to the United Farm Workers’ formation in 1966.

Itliong was born Oct. 25, 1913, immigrated to the U.S. from the Philippines in 1929. He passed away at the age of 63 in 1977.

Read a great profile of Itliong’s son, and his work to have his father remembered in the New York Times.

Filipino Hall photo from the Walter P. Reuther Library’s digital archive.

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