APALA E-Newsletter
The APA Voice of Labor July 2008
In This Issue
Featured Chapter
Indian Guest Workers Demand Justice in Gulf Coast
Filipino Veterans Equity Bill Passes Senate
Featured Chapter
The NYC APALA chapter has been strengthening its ranks. Members rallied in June for casino workers seeking a UAW contract in Atlantic City. Additionally, IBEW chapter members demonstrated solidarity for their sister union in Hubei province by sending messages of support and condolences during the earthquake. The local's relationship began 10 years ago when delegates from the Chinese union visited NYC to learn better safety standards and negotiations strategies. APALA members in the Big Apple also voted to send a donation for earthquake relief in the province.

Member Update
Alex Hing
Alex Hing of UNITE HERE local 6 will be traveling to Venezuela to speak about the US labor movement due to his involvement with the Rainbow Coalition Council of Elders.

Got updates about yourself or a fellow APALA member? Send news to us at apala@apalanet.org.

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As summer heats up in earnest, so do our efforts to gain equality and justice for workers and Asian Pacific Americans. To keep you up-to-date on our progress, we've made the decision to migrate from a seasonal paper newsletter to a monthly online one. Plus it can only help the environment to cut down on paper! 
We hope that you will find the new and updated newsletter a fast way of staying in touch and learning about our legislative priorities, organizing campaigns, and what your brothers and sisters in the movement are up to. In the national office, we've added a communications consultant and three summer interns to accomplish your goals and priorities. We look forward to hearing about your accomplishments as well in this busy electoral season - please send us your news.

In solidarity,
Malcolm Amado Uno
Executive Director
Indian Guest Workers tiny
Indian Guest Workers Demand Justice in Gulf Coast
APALA stands with the 500 Indian guest workers who were lured to the US with promises of permanent residency in exchange for working in the hard-hit area of New Orleans. The workers scrapped together $20,000 each to fradulent immigration brokers for Signal International, a manufacturing company that promised green cards and visas for their families as well. After arriving here, they found themselves in deplorable forced labor camps, in debt for more money than their meager wages could ever repay, and with guest worker visas for only 10 months. In June, worker leaders went on a hunger strike in Washington DC to pressure lawmakers to allow them to stay in the country while the government investigates abuses of the guest worker program. View our full statement.

Filipino Veterans Equity Bill Passes Senate 
At long last, Filipino veterans of World War II and their families have something to cheer! The Veterans Benefits Enhancement Act of 2007, which was sponsored by Sen. Daniel Akaka of Hawaii, passed the Senate 96-1 and now moves onto the House for consideration. The bill will provide equity to the remaining veterans who bravely fought alongside US forces and were promised U.S. citizenship and full veterans benefits by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. These benefits were later removed by Congress. This bill helps restores some benefits including a pension plan for veterans here and in the Philippines. Find out more about the campaign here.
Underground Undergrads
Underground Undergrads
APALA, the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), the Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA) and the United States Students Association co-sponsored a conversation with Kent Wong, Director of UCLA Labor Center, and Mariana Zamboni, contributing author, discussing the new book Underground Undergrads.  A packed room listened intently to Kent Wong, former President of APALA, speak about the growing student movement around access to higher education for undocumented students.  Additionally, Mariana Zamboni, a recent graduate from Harvard University's education program, shared her personal reflections as a formerly undocumented student.  Kent Wong will be presenting at LCLAA's convention in Orlando, Florida.  For more information, please contact LCLAA at http://www.lclaa.org/.  To read an editorial written by Kent Wong in the LA Daily news, click here. (Photo: Co-Sponsors join Kent Wong and Mariana Zamboni)