Jim Harrington

“Hightower’s tenure is certainly a meteor compared for the farmworkers compared to what it was and what it is now. It’s still it’s not as bad now as it was before. And that is because, I think, Hightower brought it along. You get to a place you can’t retrench too much. And I think that’s where it is. I’m not certainly not singing the praises of where it is. but boy it’s not like it used to be in the old days. I think regardless of Othal Brand’s ravings, that starting to bring farmworkers into the regular mainstream creates a dynamic. You don’t take them out of the regular mainstream; they start to function within that.“

Jim Harrington worked with the Texas branch of the American Civil Liberties Union from 1973 to 1990. He collaborated with the organizing and litigation efforts of United Farm Workers and Cesar Chavez to secure farm workers’ rights to sanitary facilities, toilets, and drinking water in the fields. Harrington served as Chavez’ lawyer for 18 years. They also secured unemployment benefits, workers’ compensation, and the right to know about dangerous chemicals used in the workplace. In 1981 they won a Texas ban on the use of the short-handled hoe, which caused permanent injuries to farm workers.

Picture of Jim Harrington