Our Past Inspires Us Today And Into The Future


When people think of organized labor and the social justice movement, they may not immediately think of the Asian-Pacific Islander (API) community. But some of the most important achievements in labor history, like the Delano Grape Strike, were won by a united cadre of API workers and leaders like Larry Itliong and Philip Vera Cruz.

Today, the Local 1000 Asian-Pacific Islander (API) Committee seeks to continue that strong legacy by developing new member leaders to build power and organize against the threats facing the labor movement.

The committee takes action in their workplaces and their communities to educate and inspire new API members to create power and opportunities for their fellow workers.

“We recognize APIs are a significant portion of the state workforce, but when we don’t stand up and be active, we allow ourselves to be under- represented and without a voice,” said Joel Chan, a committee member working at CDTFA and a Vice President and Chief Steward of DLC 744 in Oakland. “At the same time, many of our Asian coworkers are not full members, and to build power, we all need to choose our union.

“We’ve learned the hard way that anything worth having is worth fighting for, “said Chan. “We make progress in the workplace and where we live when we stand strong and stand together.”