|| As a boy, César Chávez picked peas, grapes, and other crops in the hot sun. It was a life of exhaustion, poverty, and despair. His life as a migrant farm worker had a profound effect on Chávez. With a commitment to nonviolence, Chávez staged boycotts, strikes, and other protests to bring national attention to the terrible working and living conditions of the farmworkers. He organized a labor union—which became the United Farm Workers Union—to demand higher pay and better treatment. César Chávez never earned much money. He never owned a car or a house. He was simply an ordinary man with extraordinary vision and commitment.