IFPTE Local 20 is proud to celebrate Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month to recognize the indispensable achievements of the thousands of Asian-American and Pacific Islander members of our union. As IFPTE Local 20 union members, we are engineers, scientists, and health and legal professionals who connect California’s power grid, advocate for the underserved, and care for those in need. We are proud of the work we do to keep our state functioning.
Looking back at American labor history, we recognize the struggles of the Asian-American and Pacific Islander ancestors who fought for the rights of all workers while also fighting against racial discrimination. For example, in 1938, Chinese American Sue Ko Lee led a 15-week strike of female San Francisco garment industry workers. That same year she organized the Chinese Ladies Garment Workers Union Local 361 to fight for higher wages, better benefits, and improved working conditions. In 1965, Filipino American labor leader and farm worker Philip Vera Cruz along with labor leader, Larry Itliong, organized the famous 1965 grape strike in Delano, CA. Without the vision, hard work, and perseverance of these labor leaders, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is a time to celebrate the progress we have made and to acknowledge the work that still needs to be done. The violence and anti-Asian rhetoric expressed across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic acutely demonstrate that we still have a long way to go to achieve racial equity and justice for all. We must continue to fight against racism and hatred in our workplaces and across our country.
As IFPTE Local 20, we ask that you stand with us and celebrate Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.