FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 6, 2011
More than 50 Asian Pacific American Groups Announce
Support for Public Employees Nationwide
Washington D.C. – Recently, politicians in several states have sought to undermine the long-held right of public employees to form unions and to bargain collectively. APA families face unprecedented challenges and should have the right to form unions to seek economic security and protection against unfair employment practices.
This week, APALA members nationwide are participating in ‘We Are One’ actions to support public workers. Members in cities like Pittsburgh, PA, Detroit, MI, Oakland, CA, and New York City are rallying against legislation that is trying to take away the freedom to bargain, to vote, to afford a college education and justice for all workers, immigrant and native-born.
The additional Asian Pacific American organizations that are supporting public employees include the Asian American Action Fund, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Asian Services in Action, Filipino Advocates for Justice, KAYA, National Queer Asian & Pacific Islander Alliance, & Southeast Asia Resource Action Center. There are now 55 Asian Pacific American organizations showing solidarity with public employees nationwide. A full list of organizations is attached.
“Supporting public employee unions will help Asian Pacific Americans achieve the American Dream by allowing us to continue fighting for a voice in the workplace,” said Gregory Cendana, APALA Executive Director and NCAPA Secretary. “Asian Pacific American workers are struggling to keep up in today’s economy, and unions are the front line of defending APA workers, who are often immigrants. Eliminating collective bargaining rights would weaken workers’ ability to provide for their families, address issues of dangerous workplaces, discrimination, pay, benefits, & dignity on the job.”
“As the leading Asian American service organization in Ohio, we see the daily impact that the economic downturn has had on families, with increasing numbers of unemployed or underemployed parents struggling to provide for their kids.” said Michael Byun, Executive Director of ASIA. “Asian Americans who become unemployed are without work for longer than other groups. Unions have always provided a path to the middle class for immigrants, and we stand by the teachers, firefighters, and police who seek the American Dream.”
“We support the rights of all workers. It is vital that workers in the public and private sectors have the right to organize and bargain collectively. The fight for environmental justice and economic justice are linked, as unions have been one of the best ways for the low-wage immigrants that we organize to join the middle class and gain economic security. Unions provide a voice for the disempowered, uplift the disenfranchised, and allow workers to have safer environments where they live and work.” said Roger Kim, Executive Director of Asian Pacific Environmental Network.
“Many of us came to the United States in pursuit of human rights and liberties. SEARAC is proud to stand with the civil rights community to support the rights of nurses, teachers, firefighters, and other public employees in Wisconsin and around the country,” said Doua Thor, Southeast Asia Resource Action Center Executive Director and Vice Chair of Membership for the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans. “We support workers’ rights as fundamental human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”
Public employees also have the support of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a broad coalition of civil rights organizations including the NAACP & AARP.
Founded in 1992, the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (APALA) is the first and only national organization for Asian Pacific American union members.