in the novel the grapes of wrath they decieded to move to california not knowing what awaits them
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Organizing unions was a dangerous proposition. There was a policy of divide and conquer among the companies. They would offer higher pay for some who didn't form unions but drop it later. "Instigators" were often dealt with violently. These migrants were starving and often chose food over organizing themselves to protest.
I would assume the modes of communication from Oklahoma to California were not as fast and accurate as they are now.