The Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance
May 21, 2021
May 17, 2021
Dear Fellow Members,
The Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), AFL-CIO, sends you our heartfelt greetings during this Asian American Heritage Month.
Founded in 1992, APALA is a Labor Constituency Group consisting of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) workers, most of whom are union members and allies advancing worker, immigrant, and civil rights.
APALA recognizes that members of all of America’s racial groups, indigenous peoples, and ethnicities have contributed to her greatness.
As one of these groups, the AAPI Community is facing a rising rate of anti-Asian violence and hate. The incidents range from racist name-calling to violence resulting in serious injury and in some cases fatalities. Many incidents are unreported. It is widely understood that racial and ethnic hatred often stems from ignorance, scapegoating and misperceptions that often pit us against one another.
Clearly there is no room in either our unions or our workplaces for this hatred. Our AFA Mutual Respect Policy, as well as United’s zero tolerance policy, establish clearly that hate and discrimination are not welcome in the workplace.
While we strive for acceptance and tolerance in the workplace, the same effort is not always present outside of our workplace communities. People of color, women, elderly, immigrants, and those in the LGBTQ communities continue to be subject to verbal and physical assault.
As Flight Attendants we have chosen a career because of our interest in travel and to experience different countries, cultures and people. Not only does this add to the value of the work we provide for our employers, but it also enhances our personal lives. We are proud of the diversity that makes us who we are as a community of Flight Attendants.
In addition to the passengers with whom we interact every day, we value this same diversity in the employees with whom we work, whether they join us on the aircraft or work on the ground supporting the operation of our airline. It starts with an interest in each other and our backgrounds. When there is a willingness to speak about one’s background, the conversation often results in understanding, empathy, and respect. This same spirit of understanding and inclusion will follow us into our homes, communities, and other organizations fostering a strong sense of equality, acceptance, and tolerance. These values can help change hearts and minds and, indeed, the world.
To All of you who are helping to change hearts and minds, we at APALA thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You are reminding others that “An injury to One is an injury to All”.
Stan Kiino, AFA-CWA, APALA Board and Local San Francisco Chapter Member