This year’s 7th Annual High School Filipino/a Graduation of San Diego (HS FilGrad) is in part sponsored by the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) – San Diego Chapter.
Founded in 1992, the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), AFL-CIO, is the first and only national organization of Asian Pacific American (APA) union members. Since its founding, APALA has played a unique role in addressing the workplace issues of the 660,000 APA union members and as the bridge between the broader labor movement and the APA community. Backed with strong support of the AFL-CIO, APALA has 18 chapters and pre-chapters and a national office in Washington, D.C.
The role Asian Pacific Americans play in the labor history is extremely diverse. From labor heroes like Philip Vera Cruz, a Filipino labor organizer instrumental in the formation of the United Farm Workers Union and Gene Viernes and Silme Domingo who co-founded the Alaska Cannery Worker’s Association, these people went on to show the great importance of building an APA labor alliance. With a history of legalized exclusion, both from entrance into this country and participation in such trivial acts as owning land, APAs are moving towards an era where APA laborers unite.