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Labor leader Dolores Huerta arrested in worker demonstration

Labor leader Dolores Huerta joins protesters in crowding the hallway outside the Fresno County Board of Supervisors chambers to argue for better pay for county caregivers, Tuesday in Fresno. Huerta has been arrested along with several other union members during a protest to demand a raise for Fresno county home care workers. The Fresno Bee reports sheriff deputies put Huerta and the others in plastic handcuffs and removed them Tuesday from the entrance to the Board of Supervisors chambers, where supervisors were holding a closed meeting. 

FRESNO — Dolores Huerta, a social activist and labor leader who marched with Cesar Chavez, was arrested Tuesday along with seven other union members during a protest to demand a raise for Fresno county home care workers.

Sheriff deputies put Huerta and the others in plastic handcuffs and removed them Tuesday from the entrance to the Board of Supervisors chambers, where supervisors were holding a closed meeting, the Fresno Bee reported.

Huerta and members of the Service Employees International Union 2015 were chanting and ringing cowbells outside the meeting when they were arrested after failing to disperse.

The union says county caregivers make minimum wage, which is $12, and have not received a raise in 10 years.

The 89-year-old Huerta has been jailed nearly two dozen times for union demonstrating. She co-founded the National Farmworkers Association with Chavez in the 1960s and Huerta created the rallying cry, “Si, Se Puede,” used by the nation’s poor farmworkers.

With Chavez, she negotiated collective bargaining agreements and contracts with big growers, winning the first health and benefit plans for farmworkers.

In 2012, her work was honored by President Barack Obama, who presented her with the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Obama also acknowledged Huerta for her role in the creation of his “Yes, We Can” slogan during his first presidential campaign.

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