Fight For Working People
Conservatives and corporate America have spent decades attacking working people in order to further rig the economy in their favor. In 2018, their efforts culminate in the Supreme Court case Janus v. AFSCME. Their goal with Janus is no secret: they want to use the Supreme Court to take away the freedom of working people to join together in strong unions, because unions give workers a powerful voice in speaking up for themselves, their families and their communities. We need to take action to protect working families across the nation!
United Doesn't Care
Enstrasio Takashy, a United Catering Operations worker from the island of Chuuk in Micronesia, has been working 7 days a week at two jobs since he started at United three years ago. He shares a 4-bedroom house with 17 people, and he and his wife share one room with their four kids so that they can afford to pay rent. Takashi can’t afford internet or health insurance for his kids, yet United Airlines made $2.1 billion in profits last year. Though United has never bothered to translate materials for their catering workers before, even important kitchen and health information, they’ve plastered the hallways with anti-union flyers threatening benefits and making false claims about union dues in every language from Chuukese to Vietnamese.
Sadly, Takashy’s story is just one of many demonstrating United’s prioritization of corporate greed over its own workers. There are employees at the Denver kitchen who have worked at United Catering for over 20 years still making less than $12.00/hour, barely more than minimum wage. Immigrants and people of color make up over 95% of United Airlines catering workers in Denver, 35% of the United Catering Operations workers are from the Pacific Islands and and 11% are Asian.
International solidarity for the NutriAsia workers is critical at this moment. Things came to a head this June when NutriAsia workers went on strike to demand an end to the injustices they face at the workplace. They were met with brutal repression by over 300 police officers ordered to violently disperse the strike by NutriAsia management. The police attack left dozens of workers injured and over 20 arrested. However, despite the bloodshed, the workers have committed to continue fighting until their demands are met.
Here’s what you can do:
Defend Our Families
The White House is engaged in an aggressive attack on our family-based immigration system and the diversity visa program, seeking to cut immigration to the U.S. by more than 50 percent and end sponsorship of relatives other than spouses and children under 18 years of age.
Using our young people as bargaining chips, the White House is demanding that drastic cuts to family immigration and the diversity visa program be included in any deal to offer Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients a path to permanent status. The administration has already lowered the number of refugees welcomed into the U.S.
Call Congress at 202-224-3121 and use the sample script below:
Hi, My name is _________ and I’m a constituent of ____________. I want Congress to pass a clean DREAM Act now. Will your boss commit to voting against any spending bills unless there is a solution for DACA recipients? I’m also calling in support of our family-based immigration system and the diversity visa program. I oppose lowering the number of immigrants welcomed into the country and cuts to any of the family-based visas or the diversity visa program which ensures a path for those who have none. Will your boss commit to defending our family-based visas and diversity visa program?
We need to hear YOUR voices. Share with us your family's immigration story.
Protect Our Census
Submit comments to the Department of Commerce by August 7th here!
This March, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, with the support of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ anti-immigrant Department of Justice, announced that he had directed the Census Bureau to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. Adding a question about citizenship serves no purpose but to scare immigrants away; it is bad for the census, bad for our AAPI communities, and bad for America.
APALA believes in a full, fair, and accurate census. It is essential to understanding our own AAPI community, often viewed as a homogeneous group, as it sheds light on unique challenges facing different AAPI groups, and exposes disparities among us. It is also essential to our democracy, our economy, our political voice, and our personal well-being. The citizenship question will mislead government decision-making, hurt government programs many of us rely on, and disenfranchise us politically.
To oppose the citizenship question, you can submit a public comment opposing the question about citizenship. You can find APALA’s toolkit on writing public comment on this topic here.
Stop Trump's greedy attempt to steal tips from workers!
Submit comments to the Department of Labor by February 5th here!
Submit comments to the Department of Labor by February 5th here!
The Trump Department of Labor, backed by the National Restaurant Association, is moving quickly to push a new rule that will make tips the property of restaurant owners rather than workers. Use the sample comment below:
I oppose the proposed Tip Regulations Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulation (RIN: 1235-AA21).
This rule would go against decades of federal and state law and precedent safeguarding tips as the property of the workers who receive them, by allowing employers to take control of their employees tips. The Fair Labor Standards Act was amended in 1974 to clarify that tips are to be retained by the employee except when a valid tip pooling arrangement is in place. In 2011, the DOL issued new regulations that reinforced the FLSA and over 40 years of custom and practice by the DOL and state agencies, affirming that tips are always the property of the employee (29 C.F.R. 531.52).
Tipped restaurant workers already have the lowest federal minimum wage in the country at just $2.13. As a result, they experience disproportionate rates of poverty, discrimination, and sexual harassment. The subminimum wage of $2.13 is generally not enough to cover an employee's tax liability, requiring workers to depend on tips for the entirety of their take home wage. In states with a tipped subminimum wage, workers receive their wage directly from the customer.
If adopted, Asian workers would lose an estimated $382.5 million in tips, and workers would lose $5.8 billion in tips every year. Moreover, shifting tips from workers to employers will fuel an increasing income gap that feeds into a cycle of poverty, economic instability, and vulnerability.
As a member of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, I oppose this proposed rule and urge the Department of Labor to withdraw this proposition immediately.
Take the pledge today
The model minority myth hurts AAPI communities. Painting us as the “model minority,” it neglects diversity within our community; it erases struggles of our community members; it pits us against other communities under oppression. White supremacists have long used AAPIs and our perceived collective success as a wedge to silence dialogues about the impact and pervasiveness of structural oppression.
By taking the #NotYourModelMinority Pledge, APALA and AAPI community members commit ourselves to a future where working-class and immigrant communities, people of color, women, Black lives, Indigenous communities, LGBTQ individuals, differently-abled people, , people of various spiritual beliefs are freed from state sponsored and institutionalized forms of discrimination, racism, and violence.