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Other CaliforniaLand, Identity, and Politics on the Mexican Borderlands$
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Verónica Castillo-Muñoz

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520291638

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520291638.001.0001

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Revolution, Labor Unions, and Land Reform in Baja California

Revolution, Labor Unions, and Land Reform in Baja California

(p.52) 3. Revolution, Labor Unions, and Land Reform in Baja California
Other California

Verónica Castillo-Muñoz

University of California Press

This chapter discusses the formation of labor organizations of Mexican and Asian workers, and their influence on both the labor movement and the movement for land reform. Following the decade of revolutionary upheaval, the population of Baja California increased from 23,537 in 1921 to 48,327 in 1930. During the same time frame, the Colorado River Land Company abandoned large tracts of uncultivated land, which led to an increase in unemployment and stiffer competition between Asian and Mexican workers. Unemployment, combined with the housing shortage caused by a new wave of Mexican migrant workers from the United States, led to the formation of labor unions where indigenous peoples, Mexicans, and Mexican Americans demanded access to farmland and called for restrictions on Chinese immigration. Chinese workers formed Chinese associations in the face of repression and forced deportations. While these struggles reveal how workers dealt with hard financial times, they also show how race, gender, and ethnic affiliations shaped activism and early land reform movements in the Mexicali Valley in the 1920s.

Keywords:   labor organizations, Mexican workers, Asian workers, migrant labor, Baja California, Colorado River Land Company, Mexicali Valley

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