Washington, DC - APALA sent a letter (link) to the Biden transition team supporting Julie Su for U.S. Secretary of Labor and calling for 7% of cabinet-level and other appointed positions to be Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs), mirroring the diversity of the U.S. population. APALA called on the transition team to especially consider Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (NHPIs) as that community is especially underrepresented at all levels of government.
APALA National President and NEA Appointee, Monica Thammarath, said: “The selection of a strong U.S. Secretary of Labor with experience fighting for immigrant workers, workers of color, and women workers is critical to ensuring that our communities aren’t left behind as we ‘build back better’ and recover from the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.”
APALA Founding President, California Federation of Labor Vice President,and Director of the UCLA Labor Center, Kent Wong, said: “I can think of no one better to serve as the U.S. Secretary of Labor than Julie Su. Her entire career has been spent advocating for working people. She has directly supported workforce development, health, safety, and wage theft enforcement that has benefited millions of workers. Ms. Su was staff attorney for the Asian Americans Advancing Justice who represented the Thai garment workers from El Monte, California, who were held in slavery. Alongside working with other community partners like the Thai Community Development Center, the effort resulted in a major breakthrough in California to demand that manufacturers and retailers are held liable for the sweatshop conditions in the garment factories that produce their clothes.”