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PCUN records

Identifier: Coll 335

Scope and Contents

The PCUN records document the history of Oregon’s union for farmworkers and treeplanters including the living and working conditions of farmworkers, administrative activities, and union actions. Materials include correspondence, administrative records, publications, newspaper clippings, photographs, audiovisual tapes, flyers, pamphlets, posters, and t-shirts.

Farmworker conditions relate to human and labor rights abuses, exposure to pesticides, and complaints from farmworkers and their families.

Administrative records document the formation of the union, labor agreements with individual farms, notes regarding organizing activities, PCUN-published newsletters, and various correspondence.

Union activities primarily document the organization and running of the boycott against NORPAC Foods, Inc., at the time the largest processor of fruits and vegetables in the region, to pressure them to negotiate with PCUN to establish collective bargaining at their member farms.

Records documenting third-party organizations working with PCUN include conference materials, correspondence, newsletters, and flyers. Other events were hosted directly by, or in collaboration with, PCUN.


  • Creation: 1952-2012


  • PCUN (Organization)

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English and Spanish.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time. Collection includes sound recordings, moving images, and digital files to which access is restricted. Access to these materials is governed by repository policy and may require the production of listening or viewing copies. Researchers requiring access must notify Special Collections and University Archives in advance and pay fees for reproduction services as necessary.

Conditions Governing Use

Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

Formed in 1985, the Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste, commonly known and abbreviated as PCUN, is the first farmworkers union in the state of Oregon and is located in the city of Woodburn, Oregon. PCUN grew out of the Willamette Valley Immigration Project (WVIP), an organization that provided legal advice and representation to undocumented workers, particularly as a response to Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) raids in the state.

The Willamette Valley Immigration Project was key to building trust in the farmworker and treeplanter communities in Oregon. The community-building they fostered over the 8 years of their existence allowed farmworkers and treeplanters the opportunity for openly discussing the formation of a union. Consequently, between 1984 and 1985, a series of strategic meetings were held among the WVIP’s staff, reforestation workers, and farmworkers to discuss the development of a labor union.

As a result of these meetings, in April of 1985 PCUN was formed with 80 initial farmworkers. That same year the WVIP was dissolved; however, its staff continued to provide its immigration services through a PCUN-created center called Centro de Servicios para Campesinos (Service Center for Farmworkers).

PCUN’s initial goal was to unite and organize treeplanters and farmworkers in order to improve their working conditions. The organization strives to empower farmworkers to understand and take action against systematic exploitation and all of its effects. To achieve this end, PCUN has been involved in a number of community and workplace organizing efforts. Some examples include the 1987-1988 assistance to 1,300 immigrants as they filed applications for amnesty under the Immigration and Reform and Control Act; the 1988 creation of the Project to Stop Pesticide Poisoning with the goal of educating farmworkers about and identifying pesticides use and exposures; the promotion of legislation to help give farmworkers collective bargaining rights; the 1991 the first-ever farmworker strike in Oregon and co-founding of the Farmworker Housing Development Corporation to build and manage affordable housing in towns with farmworker presence, among many other initiatives.

PCUN actively continues its outreach and organizing efforts through the work of its Collective Bargaining Committee and its Service Center for Farmworkers. It is also part of a number of collaborative efforts with a variety of local organizations, such as the Farmworkers Housing Corporation, the Voz Hispana Causa Chavista, Mujeres Luchadoras Progresistas, Oregon’s Statewide immigrant rights coalition CAUSA, Latinos Unidos Siempre (LUS), Mano a Mano Family Center, and the Salem-Keizer Coalition for Equality, among others, brought together under the umbrella of the CAPACES Leadership Institute. CAPACES is a movement-building collaborative fostering relationships, cross-training, plus a deeper shared sense of vision and scale for Oregon’s Latino population.

Since its founding, PCUN has registered more than 5,000 members. Today, it is Oregon’s largest union for farmworkers, nursery, and reforestation workers, and Oregon’s largest Latino organization.


El sindicato laboral Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste, comúnmente conocido y abreviado como PCUN, fué formado en 1985 en Woodburn, Oregon, y es el primer sindicato de trabajadores agrícolas en el estado.

PCUN inició a través de el Willamette Valley Immigration Project (WVIP), una organización que proporciona asesoramiento legal y representación a los trabajadores indocumentados, particularmente como una respuesta a las redadas hechas por la oficina de Servicios de Inmigración y Naturalización (INS) en el estado de Oregon. El trabajo realizado por el WVIP fue clave para generar confianza en las comunidades campesinas y los trabajadores de reforestación de Oregon.

Durante 8 años, el trabajo comunitario del WVIP permitió que trabajadores pudieran discutir abiertamente la formación de un sindicato. Y así, entre 1984 y 1985, después de una serie de reuniones estratégicas entre el personal del WVIP, los trabajadores de reforestación y campesinos, se formó el sindicato de los Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PCUN).

PCUN fué establecido en el mes de abril de 1985 con la participación de 80 campesinos. Ese mismo año fue disuelto el WVIP, sin embargo, los servicios de inmigración que proporcionaban a la comunidad fueron transladados a el Centro de Servicios para Campesinos que ahora es parte de PCUN.

La meta inicial de PCUN fue unir y organizar a los pineros y campesinos con el fin de mejorar sus condiciónes de trabajo. La organización se esfuerza en capacitar a los trabajadores agrícolas y tomar medidas contra la explotación sistemática de trabajadores. Con ese fin, PCUN ha estado involucrado en un número de esfuerzos para ayudar a la comunidad Latina y organizar a los trabajadores.

Algunos ejemplos del trabajo que PCUN ha logrado a través de los años incluye la asistencia de 1,300 inmigrantes que presentaron solicitudes de amnistía bajo la reforma de inmigración y la ley de Control entre 1987 y 1988; la creación de un proyecto para educar a los trabajadors agrícolas sobre pesticidas; la promoción de legislación para ayudar que los trabajadores agrícolas tengan derechos para negociar un contracto laboral en forma colectiva; y la co-fundación de la corporación de desarrollo y vivienda para los trabajadores agrícolas, entre muchas otras cosas.

PCUN continúa sus esfuerzos organizativos a través del comité de negociación colectiva y su centro de servicios para los trabajadores agrícolas. También a colaborado con una variedad de organizaciones locales, tales como campesinos Housing Corporation, la Voz Hispana Causa Chavista, Mujeres Luchadoras Progresistas de Oregon, coalición de derechos de inmigrantes del estado CAUSA, Latinos Unidos Siempre (LUS), Mano a Mano Family Center y la coalición de Salem-Keizer por la igualdad, entre otros. Estas organizaciones también forman parte del instituto de liderazo de PCUN que se llama CAPACES. CAPACES es un movimiento colectivo que trata de fomentar colaboración y entrenamiento dentro de la comunidad Latina de Oregón.

Hoy en día, PCUN ha registrado a más de 5,000 miembros dentro del sindicato. PCUN es la organización más grande de trabajadores agrícolas y reforestación en el estado de Oregon, y es la organización Hispana más grande del estado.


79.5 linear feet (58 containers) : 34 record storage boxes, 22 oversize boxes, 2 flat photo boxes


Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (Northwest Treeplanters and Farmworkers United), also known as PCUN, was established in 1985 in Woodburn, Oregon, as a way of uniting and organizing treeplanters and farmworkers to improve their working conditions. The PCUN records consist of correspondence, newsletters, publications, photographs, newspaper clippings, audiovisual recordings, and other documents that provide a view of the history of the largest labor union and Latino organization in the State of Oregon.


El sindicato de Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PCUN), fué fundada en 1985 en la ciudad de Woodburn, Oregon, con el propósito de unir y organizar a los pineros y campesinos para mejorar las condiciónes laborales en el campo. La colección de PCUN consiste de una variedad de correspondencia, boletínes de noticias, publicaciones, fotografías, artículos de periódico, grabaciones de audiovisuales, y otros documentos que dan a conocer la historia del sindicato laboral más grande del estado de Oregon.


This collection is arranged in nine series:
Series 1. Farmworker issues, 1976-2009
Series 2. PCUN administrative files, 1964-2012
Series 3. NORPAC boycott, 1992-2002
Series 4. Organizations, conferences, and events, 1963-2010
Series 5. Publications, 1970-2007
Series 6. Photographs, 1952, 1975-2011
Series 7. Audiovisual recordings, 1971-2006
Series 8. Artifacts, 1987-2006, undated
Series 9. Ephemera, 1976-2011, undated

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of PCUN, 2011-2019.

Existence and Location of Copies

Some sound recordings in this collection are available as digital audio files from Special Collections & University Archives.

Related Materials

Related collections include:

  • John Bauguess photographs, PH 338

Processing Information

Collection processed by Sonia De La Cruz, 2012. Additional processing and revisions by Patrick McCall, 2022.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Guide to the PCUN records
Complete Description
Sonia De La Cruz, Stephanie Kays, and Patrick McCall
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English and Spanish.
Funding to acquire, process and produce this finding aid has been provided through Special Collection and University Archives, the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Oregon, and the LSTA grant.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives Repository

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA