The Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO, condemns the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) for honoring Wal-Mart at their annual Gala.
APALA celebrates our community traditions during Asian Pacific Heritage Month, especially the contributions of Asian Pacific American working people. But Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest corporation and a fierce anti-union employer, represents corporate greed. Wal-Mart pays poverty wages, substandard benefits, and has a shameful record with regard to employment discrimination involving race and gender.
Wal-Mart has viciously attacked efforts to allow their workers to form and join unions. Wal-Mart has recently closed five Wal-Mart department stores where there were active campaigns among workers, including many workers of color, to organize for better wages and working conditions.
Wal-Mart is a global economic powerhouse that promotes the proliferation of sweatshops, violates labor and environmental standards, and is leading the race to the bottom in exploiting workers and contributing to world-wide poverty.
For APAICS to honor Wal-Mart is an insult to Asian Pacific American workers throughout the country, and the rich history of Asian Pacific American labor.
This is the 50th anniversary of the Delano Grape strike when Filipino farmworkers courageously led the fight to organize farm workers in California. APAICS is insulting the legacy of Filipino farmworkers, Chinese railroad workers, Hawaiian plantation workers, New York Chinatown garment workers, and millions of other Asian Pacific American workers who have built this country.
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is a time to celebrate the tremendous contributions of the Asian Pacific American community. APAICS dishonors Asian Pacific American workers by honoring corporate greed, exploitation, and worker abuse.
APALA National President Johanna Puno Hester added, "APALA values our partnerships with other Asian Pacific American organizations, and in that spirit, our representatives conveyed our concerns to APAICS leadership about their selection of Wal-Mart as an honoree this year. Let us be clear--we support the mission of APAICS to build the pipeline of elected officials and we look forward to engaging in a conversation about the role of corporate partnerships in the broader community."