UCLA Labor Center

New Book: Asian American Workers Rising

Publish date: August 19, 2021

The UCLA Labor Center is proud to present a new book celebrating the 30 year anniversary of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (APALA) — the first national Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) worker organization within the US labor movement. 500 union members nationwide came together on May 1, 1992 to form APALA, a breakthrough in a union movement that had historically excluded AAPI workers. 

APALA launched a national network of AAPI activists who have organized workers into unions, advanced labor’s political power, forged labor and community alliances, recruited the next generation of organizers and activists, promoted diversity within labor, and implemented a comprehensive agenda for economic and social justice.

Though AAPI workers have made enormous contributions to the advancement of unions and communities over the generations, their stories have seldom been recorded or documented. This book helps to create that written record, and includes founding members, emerging young activists who are charting a new path for AAPIs in labor, and the leaders who are no longer with us but who inspire others to continue their legacy.

Their stories capture the spirit, determination, and commitment of a multiethnic, multigenerational group of AAPI labor activists who built a dynamic organization within the US labor movement to advance worker rights and labor solidarity.

The book is available for purchase here.

**There was a publishing error in the section on Jin Sook Lee. Please see the correct version here.**