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Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance
The role Asian Americans play in the labor history is extremely diverse. From our labor heroes like Philip Vera Cruz, a Filipino labor organizer instrumental in the formation of the United Farm Workers Union and Gene Viernes and Silme Domingo who co-founded the Alaska Cannery Workers Association and revolutionized the cannery industry by creating a better working environment for their predominantly APA workers, these people went on to show the great importance of building an APA labor alliance. With a history of legalized exclusion, both from entrance into this country and participation in such trivial acts as owning land, we are moving towards an era where APA laborers unite.
Although we have moved from Yellow Peril fears of Asian labor lowering wages and breaking strikes, there is still much exploitation that exists must be fixed. Just like Peter Kwong revealed in his book Forbidden Workers, the truth is, APA men and women still endure harsh working conditions and receive desperately low wages. The Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) is a big step towards equality for our labor community, but we must walk the journey together.
Founded in 1992, the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), AFL-CIO, is the first and only national organization of Asian Pacific American (APA) union members. Over 600,000 APA workers have joined unions and are seeking better pay, improved benefits, dignity on the job, and a voice in the workplace. Backed with strong support of the AFL-CIO, APALA has 11 chapters and pre-chapters and a national office in Washington, D.C.
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