Coalition of Labor Union Women
  • January 29, 2023

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    • What's New at Coalition of Labor Union Women

      APALA Mourns After California Mass Shootings Impacting AAPI Community and Commits to Fight for Gun Control Reform

      For Immediate Release; January 24th, 2023
      Contact: Katie Moy Mostris

      On January 21st, the eve of the Lunar New Year, the majority-Asian community of Monterey Park, CA, was devastated by a mass shooting at a Chinese community dance studio that killed eleven elders and injured many more. Less than 48 hours later, a gunman killed seven people in two locations in Half Moon Bay, California.
      Although authorities have not released the names of the seven who lost their lives, reports indicate that some of the victims were Chinese agricultural workers. The Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) is devastated at the news of both shootings and extends our deepest condolences to the affected families from Monterey Park to Half Moon Bay and all those whose lives are now forever changed by gun violence. 

      Gun violence continues to devastate communities and make public spaces like classrooms, workplaces, and community centers unsafe. We acknowledge the dangerous power of toxic masculinity to normalize violence against low-income workers and elders in propelling the shooters in both Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay. As our communities move forward, we must combat gender-based violence and prioritize national gun control reform. 

      We mourn for the families of the eleven elders who lost their lives and the seven community members of Half Moon Bay whose identities have not yet been released. Our communities deserve to celebrate Lunar New Year joyfully and without fear. Asian American workers must have the right to safe workplaces where they can thrive in the absence of violence. Instead, many have woken up to a living nightmare of fear for our community who were shot in their workplaces or at the dance studio, targeted at the start of one of the most important holidays for many East and Southeast Asian families. APALA will continue to fight against gun violence and gender-based violence while holding the 18 people who lost their lives, their families, and the many more who were injured, in our hearts. 

      Ligaya Domingo, SEIU Healthcare 1199NW and Second Vice President of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) said, "We grieve deeply for the elders who lost their lives on Sunday. APALA is committed to helping our community process this loss and the fear and helplessness many Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders may feel. Our voices are strongest together, and we will continue to lead the fight for collective liberation with those we have lost in our hearts."

      Telly Tse, Co-President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, said, "The Monterey Park shooting is part of a long list of horrific tragedies caused by preventable gun violence. It took place where many Asian Americans often visited to eat, shop for groceries, and be with their friends. With the start of the Lunar New Year, this week should have been a time for celebration and new beginnings. It is a reminder that we have much work to do to make sure such events never happen again."

      Katherine General, President of the San Francisco Chapter, said, “We cannot continue to wait for more lives to be lost. As diverse and complicated as the AAPI community is, so are our feelings. We are heartbroken, angry, and scared by these recent events. I hope we can find a way to collectively harness these feelings and be ready to take action against violence and hate.”

      Vanessa Coe, President of the Alameda Chapter of APALA, said, "Our community is heartbroken by the senseless loss of 18 lives and injuries to many more. The fear and isolation many of our community members must be feeling right now is heartbreaking and must serve as an urgent call to action for all of us."

      If you or someone you know is in need of trauma support, please view and share this document of resources.

      We stand united with our movement, to be able to support women.

      Our hearts and wishes for support stand with the families of the Monterey Park, CA victims in the mass shooting that took place at a dance hall over the weekend. 

      The predominantly Asian community has been affected by this tragedy and names of those that died in the aftermath are slowly being released to the public as they are identified.

      The gunman died of self-inflected gunshot wounds and it seems that he may have been targeting his ex-wife in this incident amongst the dancers. The case is not being categorized as a domestic violence dispute. 

      I believe as CLUW members we should keep mindful of how precious and fragile life can be and I wanted to express how grateful I am for you as a CLUW sibling. 

      Please take a moment to reflect on the loved ones in your life and let them know how much you care for them today, in remembrance of those individuals who have many challenging days ahead of them in the wake of yet another mass shooting. 

      In solidarity with our sister organization, the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), we send out our message of support.  For more information on this shooting can be found here.

      My appreciation,

      Adriana De La Cruz, CLUW Los Angeles
      National Officer Council Vice President

      Washington, DC, December 24, 2022, Two bills to provide additional protections for pregnant workers and breastfeeding people were included in the $1.7 trillion federal government spending package passed by Congress this week. Elise Bryant, President of the Coalition of Labor Union Women remarked, “This is an important recognition, particularly for the needs of low income workers and women of color. CLUW is glad to have been a part of this struggle and to celebrate its victory. A big thank you to our members and to the broader coalition in seeing this through.”

      The Senate amendment to add the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) to the spending package passed on Thursday 12/22/22 with a 73-24 vote. The proposal was passed by the House of Representatives in May 2021. In another win for family-friendly work policy, senators also voted to approve a separate amendment expanding the rights of women to pump breast milk at work. That measure, known as the PUMP Act, passed 92 to 5. The House passed the larger package to fund the federal government on Friday. President Biden has agreed to sign this into law as soon as it reaches his desk.

      The PWFA would require employers to provide pregnant workers with reasonable accommodations just as they do disabled workers, like more frequent bathroom breaks, the ability to carry a water bottle and the option to sit during a shift.  Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania), one of the bill sponsors commented, “It means if a woman is pregnant in the workforce she can do her job and have a healthy and safe pregnancy. “

      The background of this victory is long in coming.  In 1976, the Supreme Court ruled in General Electric v. Gilbert that employers could refuse benefits to pregnant women.  The case was brought by the International Union of Electrical Radio and Machine Workers.  This was in part the impetus for the UAW, AFL-CIO, Communications Workers of America, the National Women’s Law Project, other unions and civil and women’s rights group in pushing for passage of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 which amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, that prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.

      “The Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW),.. had included the PDA as one of its goals from inception. CLUW members came together to figure out how to convince male union leaders to support the law. This effort was instrumental in pushing back against challenges against the law both from within the labor movement and without.”  More background information can be found here.

      Many of the coalition members who worked for ten years to push for passage of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act to fix a loophole in the earlier legislation have been on the frontlines for other worker/family needs such as sick leave.  We direct you to the article that follows from the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a “think tank” ally that connects the issues of the need for sick leave and the recent railroad worker negotiations. Read more here.  A battle that will next take center stage.

      An example of CLUW, unions and women's groups rallying in the past for pregnant workers.

      This is an IAM production.

      But in the meantime, let’s celebrate our wins as we enter 2023.

      UnionActive Newswire
      Join the Newswire!
      Updated: Jan. 29 (13:04)

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