Save the Date: Women's Organizing Institute|
APALA and the
Orange County Labor Federation, with financial support from the Berger Marks
Foundation, are proud to host the first Women's Organizing Institute in Orange,
California from August 6-8, 2010. The
APALA Organizing Institute, one of the flagship programs of APALA, was
initiated in 1992. However, this is the
first training program focusing on Asian Pacific American women with a gender
lens and focus.
Americans represents one of the fastest growing segments of unionized
workers. Furthermore, approximately half
of all Asian Pacific American workers are women. Unfortunately, there are few leadership
development opportunities for Asian Pacific American women. The intensive three-day training program will
target Asian Pacific American rank and file union members as well as young
workers and recent college graduates.
learn organizing skills from some of the most seasoned Asian Pacific American
women union organizers from across the country.
To apply for the program, applicants are encouraged to fill out the on-line
application. For more questions, do not
hesitate to contact the APALA officers.
Save the Date: 2011 APALA Convention |
Santa Clara/ San Mateo Chapter Celebrate API Heritage Month|
APALA SEIU 521 Caucus celebrated their 3rd Annual Asian & Pacific Islander Heritage
Month Celebration on May 29th in San Jose, California. Led by Caucus Chair, Luis Aguilar, the event
brought together a diverse group of communities, ranging from Filipino, Samoan,
Japanese, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Chinese, Korean, and Mexican just to name a
few. Many local leaders also joined to
recognize the importance of API Heritage Month.
Assemblymember Paul Fong, who represents the 22nd Congressional District in California, was the
keynote speaker and provided an insightful history of API workers and their
relation to the labor movement. City of
Campbell Mayor, Evan Low, a young and rising leader, articulated an
inspirational message to promote leadership and unity across generations. Among other prominent guests who delivered
acknowledgements were Ash Kalra, City of San Jose Councilmember for District 2,
and Gilbert Wong, Vice Mayor for the City of Cupertino. Several APALA Executive Board members and Bay
Area APALA Chapter members from the Alameda, San Francisco, and San Mateo/Santa
Clara Chapters were also in attendance to demonstrate their support.
attendees enjoyed a spread of various catered and potluck food items that
represented the diverse Caucus membership, presented cultural displays, and
were introduced to the officers of the newly formed National APALA San
Mateo/Santa Clara Counties Chapter.
There was also entertainment from traditional Korean drum and fan
dancing, Filipino Arnis Martial Arts and folk dance, Tahitian dancing, karaoke
singing, ballroom dancing, and an Elvis impersonator. Overall, it was a great and successful event
and the Caucus plans to continue this tradition annually.
|APALA Members and Allies,|
On June 5, 2010,
John Delloro, APALA's National President, passed away at the age of 38 in Los
Angeles, California. John dedicated over
two decades of his life to fight on behalf of working people, originally as an
organizer, later as a labor educator.
John embodied the APALA spirit, graduating from the APALA Organizing
Institute, serving as the President of the Los Angeles Chapter, before being
elected as one of the youngest individuals to serve as our National
President. The impact that John had on
APALA, the labor movement, as well as the broader social justice movement, is
reflected in the outpouring of support that we have received on his
were organized in his memory in Los Angeles and Oakland, California and
Washington DC, with plans for a celebration of his life in Seattle,
Washington. At the memorial service in
Los Angeles, Congresswoman Judy Chu, Assemblyman Warren Furutani, Assemblyman
Mike Eng and Dolores Huerta were some of the individuals that formally paid
homage to John's life. In Washington DC,
AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker, AFT Secretary-Treasurer
Antonia Cortese and SEIU President Mary Kay Henry were among the labor leaders
that recognized John's contributions to the national labor movement.
Honda, Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, submitted a
Statement for the Record on behalf of John, memorializing his name in the
annals of Congress. In California,
Assemblyman Mike Eng adjourned session in John's memory and the Los Angeles
City Council passed a resolution in his memory.
These formal acknowledgements of John Delloro only capture a segment of
John's influence and impact on our work.
APALA, sparked a movement that brought a wave of young leaders into the
organization, initiated an effort to strengthen student and worker solidarity
and inspired emerging Asian Pacific American activists across the country to
learn more about our history and to contemplate a life building power for
working people. He transformed APALA and
fundamentally altered the trajectory of the Asian Pacific American labor movement
and we are forever grateful for his contributions and his dedication to
advocate on behalf of working families.
It is with a heavy heart that we move forward in John's honor to
continue his life work and to honor his memory.
Together we must continue to
fight for Immigration Reform that protects all workers and their families, be
they documented or not, to fight for the Dream Act, to help the Obama
administration implement Health Care Reform and make changes over the next few
years so all workers have access to quality healthcare and that we continue to
advocate for and help past the Employee Free Choice Act so all workers can
organize into a union without fear of retaliation or losing their job. It is all of our responsibility to work
within our own individual unions to build APALA and grow the labor movement.
John Delloro is
survived by his wife Dr. Susan Suh, and his children Mina and Malcolm. I humbly request all APALA members and allies
to consider making a contribution to the John Delloro Memorial Fund to support
his family. The address to send donations is:
John Delloro Memorial Fund
LACCD Foundation c/o Rix Bradford Associates
512 N. Larchmont Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90004
Checks should be made payable to LACCD Foundation/John Delloro Memorial
APALA First Vice
Launch: Breaking Ground, Breaking Silence |
partnership with the UCLA Labor Center, released a report that documents the
challenges that Asian Pacific American workers face in exercising their right
to organize, and work place abuses endured by low-wage immigrant workers. The report, Breaking Ground, Breaking Silence, profiles Asian Pacific American workers who testified at the first
national Asian Pacific American Workers' Rights Hearing in November 2009 at the
AFL-CIO national headquarters in Washington DC.
breaking report is the first national publication focused on Asian Pacific
American workers' rights, " said Luisa Blue, APALA First Vice President. "Contrary to the model minority myth, Asian
Pacific American workers continue to face exploitation and abuse in the
"I have worked
for three years and make $9.50 an hour but the company pays me half compared to
the American workers," said Aung Oo, a Karen refugee from Burma who currently
lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. "We
believe that we should be paid equal to them.
We do the same work."
In the Bay Area,
employees of NBC Contractors were forced to fill out two time cards. "We would not get paid unless we signed the
fake time card, the one with lesser hours," said Ricky Lau, a Taiwanese
immigrant living in the Bay Area.
American workers are breaking silence to ensure that their stories are brought
out of the shadows and into the light," said Kent Wong, Director of the UCLA
Labor Center. "These stories include
wage theft, dangerous working conditions and threats to workers trying to
represents an unprecedented expose of the work place violations impacting Asian
Pacific American workers throughout the country. The report also identifies specific
recommendations presented by labor scholars and labor leaders to strengthen
"Our hope is that
policy makers, educational institutions, labor unions and advocates will use
this document to advocate for the interests and advancement of Asian Pacific
American workers," said Amado Uno, APALA Executive Director.
The release of
the report coincides with APALA's launch of a national campaign to engage Asian
Pacific American workers in public hearings across the country. The first hearing was held in New York on
June 5, 2010. Subsequent hearings are
planned for Las Vegas, Nevada, Seattle, Washington, Los Angeles and San
Francisco, California and Detroit, Michigan.
New York Worker Rights Hearing|The APALA New
York Chapter convened the first New York Area Asian Pacific American Workers' Rights Hearing on Saturday, June 5, 2010.
As part of a national campaign, the New York area hearing convened
policymakers, scholars, and workers to address working conditions and the right
to organize for APA workers.
Additionally the hearing debuted APALA's new report, Breaking Ground, Breaking Silence.
American workers are an integral part of New York City and we are proud to
convene the first citywide hearing dedicated to this segment of the workforce,"
said Lenny Moy, APALA New York Chapter President. "Our hope is that these hearings serve to
build local capacity to support workers' rights and strengthen worker voices."
Pacific American workers provided testimony focused on the right to organize,
labor and community partnerships and the union advantage to close to 200
community activists, academicians and government officials. Workers spoke about abusive working
conditions, wage violations, health and safety concerns and the role of unions
to advocate on behalf of workers.
"APALA should be
applauded for their successful efforts to build stronger bridges linking the
labor movement with Asian Pacific American workers," said Terrence L. Melvin,
Secretary-Treasurer of the New York State AFL-CIO. "We also recommit to actively engage all
workers to ensure that the labor movement is inclusive and representative of
our diverse workforce."
"APALA has been a growing force within
the national labor movement in protecting workers' rights to organize and
advocating for the expansion of livable wages and benefits, dignity on the job
and a voice in the workplace," said John Liu, New York City Comptroller.
included the following: New York City Comptroller John Liu, New York State
Department of Labor Commissioner Colleen Gardener, State Director for U.S.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand Peter Hatch, New York State AFL-CIO
Secretary-Treasurer Terrence Melvin, New York City Central Labor Council,
AFL-CIO Political Director Sharada Polavarapu, Professor Tarry Hum, AFSCME DC
37 Treasurer Maf Uddin, SEIU 1199 Secretary-Treasurer Maria Castaneda and IBEW
3 Treasurer Michael Yee.
organizations included: The Joseph S. Murphy Institute, CUNY, the Asian/Asian
American Research Institute, CUNY, New York State AFL-CIO, Local 1199 SEIU,
Local 3 IBEW, Workers United/SEIU, New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council,
Local 6 UNITE HERE, New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, United
Federation of Teachers, Local 1407 and Local 375 DC 37 AFSCME, International
Union of Operating Engineers and UAW 2121.
|NYS Senate Passes Domestic Worker Rights Bill|
The New York State
Senate passed a historic Domestic Worker rights bill (SB 2311)
on June 1, putting the state on the path to being the first in the country with
such a bill (pending reconciliation with the Assembly bill (AB 1470)
and Governor Paterson's promised signature.) This law will extend core labor
rights to a group of workers who are not covered by collective bargaining
rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. The far-reaching state
legislation includes establishment of fair labor standards, overtime, one day
off a week, paid sick days, and collective bargaining rights for domestic
workers including caretakers in private homes.
have been excluded from basic labor protections, domestic workers are one of
the most vulnerable groups of workers. Advocacy group Domestic Workers United,
one of the main proponents of the bill says that: 99% are foreign-born, 95% are
people of color, and 93% are women.
Damayan, an activist
group of Filipina domestic workers, testified at the recent APALA NYS Worker
Rights Hearing about their experiences not only being underpaid and overworked,
but also about sexual harassment in the workplace. When domestic workers have
the right to form unions, it will be easier for them to combat all types of workplace
abuses. APALA supports the immediate passage of the Domestic Worker Bill
of Rights and views the legislation as an important milestone and model for
other states to follow.