Washington D.C. (March 7, 2011) – The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, a coalition of 29 organizations representing a wide range of Asian Pacific American communities, pledged their support for public employees today in an historic and unified gesture of solidarity.
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.
The national Asian Pacific American organizations that are supporting include Asian American Justice Center, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations, National Coalition of Asian Pacific Community Development, Hmong National Development, Japanese American Citizens League, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, National Federation of Filipino American Associations, Organization of Chinese Americans, South Asian Americans Leading Together and South East Asia Resource Action Center.
“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.”
“OCA understands that the hopes and aspirations of Asian Pacific American workers is tied to labor protections and the right to bargain collectively,” said George Wu, Executive Director of OCA and Chair of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans. “We express our support for the millions of workers, parents, and students who are fighting to keep their workplace freedoms and the right to negotiate for their well-being.”
“As an Asian American civil rights organization, South Asian Americans Leading Together 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 Deepa Iyer, SAALT Executive Director and Vice Chair of Programs for NCAPA. “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 United States Student Association, NAACP and AARP.