White employers benefited from racial tension, even creating conflicts between the Chinese and Mexicans workers. Disunity along racial lines made it more difficult for workers to organize, keeping the wages artificially low and rendering the workers powerless. When the government passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, the employers aggressively recruited Japanese workers to replace the dwindling Chinese workforce in hopes of maintaining schisms in the beet fields.
The tactic of maintaining racial tension was successful until the agricultural workers formed the Japanese Mexican Labor Association (JMLA). The workers, as part of the JMLA, protested the high commission fees they had to pay to the company that contracted the work, the Western Agricultural Contracting Company (WACC) and they accused the company of paying less than what they had promised. Workers also demanded the freedom to purchase goods from places other than the company store.
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