(Reuters) - Helen Chavez, the widow of the late labor leader Cesar Chavez, died in California at age 88 on Monday, said the United Farm Workers of America, an labor organization that her husband helped start.

Chavez died at a hospital in Bakersfield, California, where she was surrounded by family members, the union said in as statement. It did not indicate a cause of death.

The couple was married in 1948, after he was discharged from the U.S. Navy, and eventually would have eight children. In 1962, they moved to Delano, where he organized farm workers and helped start what would become the United Farm Workers of America.

In 1965, Chavez helped lead a strike of table and wine grape growers over poor pay and conditions, a movement in which she played a vital role, the labor group said.

"Her consistent humility, selflessness, quiet heroism and fiery perseverance were at the heart of the movement she helped build," the organization said.

Cesar Chavez died in 1993 in Arizona.

(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee)