Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) Records
Language of Materials
Founded in 1992, the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) was created to address the continued underrepresentation of Asian Pacific American (APA) workers in the labor movement and the specific challenges APA workers face. The collection documents many of the activities of the national office and some of the local chapters of the APALA from its early years through 2009, as well as some of the activities of other APA organizations. Materials date from the 1970s through 2019, with the bulk of the material dating from 1992 to 2009. The collection includes paper and audiovisual materials regarding APALA annual conventions and events; meeting minutes; photographs of events; reports and audiovisual materials created by other APA groups; and archived versions of the APALA's websites and the Washington, DC chapter's website.
The foundations for the creation of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) were laid in 1990 when a number of Asian Pacific American (APA) labor activists presented the AFL-CIO with a proposal to better address the continued underrepresentation of APA workers in the labor movement by forming a national APA labor organization. These activists sought to get more APA workers into unions, especially those working in historically important industries such as garment factories and restaurants. The APALA founders also recognized that, in addition to traditional workers' rights issues like fair wages and health care, APA workers face workplace discrimination and challenges related to immigration status, language ability, and education which force many Asian and Pacific Islander Americans into low-paying and insecure jobs.
In 1991, the Executive Council of the AFL-CIO formed a steering committee consisting of representatives from the three regional APA labor groups, representatives from Hawaii's AFL-CIO, and the seven founding unions to explore the rationales and practicalities of forming a national APA labor organization.
APALA became a formal entity at the National Founding Convention in 1992. Over 500 APA labor activists, representing major cities across the United States, gathered in Washington, D.C. APALA was envisioned as an organization that would address a number of pressing needs within the APA community by educating laborers, promoting political education and voter registration, and training and mentoring APA leaders within the labor movement and the greater community. In addition, it was decided that APALA would be committed to the defense and advocacy of civil and human rights of APA laborers, immigrants, and people of color, while developing ties to international labor organizations, especially those within the Asia-Pacific Rim.
With approximately 660,000 members, a national office in Washington, D.C., and 13 chapters and pre-chapters across the country, APALA remains the first and only national organization of APA union members.
This collection has not been arranged by an archivist. The materials are arranged in the order in which they were received from the donor. Materials are described at the box level.
Scope and Content Note
The Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) Records document many of the activities of the national APALA office and some of its local chapters (especially the New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Los Angeles chapters) from the organization's early years through 2009. The collection consists mostly of research and organizing materials related to APALA's various advocacy efforts in the areas of minority, immigrant, and/or workers' rights. Additionally, the APALA Records contain the activities of the executive board, convention materials, e-mail correspondence (especially correspondence written by or to Jin Sook Lee and Gloria T. Caoile, former Executive Directors of APALA) and materials related to various political and voter mobilization campaigns. The collection also includes photographic and audiovisual materials from APALA events and archived versions of the APALA's websites and the Washington, DC chapter's website. The websites include information about national and Washington chapter APALA events, programs, and political activities.
Parts of the collection also include materials generated by the Public Services Labor Independent Confederation (PSLINK), the union for government workers in the Philippines, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), especially during Gloria Caoile's term as assistant to the AFSCME president. The collection also includes materials created by other APA organizations, particularly the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), of which APALA is a member, and other labor groups, such as the Labor Coalition for Community Action. To a lesser extent, there are materials generated by other minority activist groups, such as the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU).
Conditions Governing Access
Materials are open without restrictions.
Conditions Governing Use
This collection is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use materials in the collection in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).
Identification of item, date; Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) Records; WAG 324; box number; folder number; Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.
To cite the archived website in this collection: Identification of item, date; sian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) Records; WAG 324; Wayback URL; Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.
Location of Materials
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated by the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) in March 2012. The accession number associated with this gift is 2012.020.
A small number of publications produced by the APALA were discovered in the repository and added to the collection in 2014. The accession number associated with these materials is 2014.034.
Websites were initially selected by curators and captured through the use of The California Digital Library's Web Archiving Service in 2007 as part of the Tamiment-Wagner: Labor Unions and Organizations (U.S.) Web Archive. In 2017, crawling of two of the websites, https://apalanet.wordpress.com/ and https://apaladc.wordpress.com/, was discontinued. In 2015, these websites were migrated to Archive-It. Archive-It uses web crawling technology to capture websites at a scheduled time and displays only an archived copy, from the resulting WARC file, of the website. In 2019, https://www.apalaconvention.org/ was added to the web archives. The accession number associated with this website 2019.131. In 2021, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvoun8paqpAJiP30ECBZ3sQ/videos/ was added. The accession number associated with this website is 2022.027. In March 2022, https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hFIcb_pJhJDjjK5q-9lQgu3LHGBo65kPWyfn_LM2t5Y/edit was added. The accession number associated with this website is 2022.049. In September 2023, https://www.youtube.com/@apalanational989/videos/ was added. The accession number associated with this website is 2023.083.
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Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
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Take Down Policy
Archived websites are made accessible for purposes of education and research. NYU Libraries have given attribution to rights holders when possible; however, due to the nature of archival collections, we are not always able to identify this information.
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Please include the following in your notice: Identification of the material that you believe to be infringing and information sufficient to permit us to locate the material; your contact information, such as an address, telephone number, and email address; a statement that you are the owner, or authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed and that you have a good-faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law; a statement that the information in the notification is accurate and made under penalty of perjury; and your physical or electronic signature. Upon receiving a notice that includes the details listed above, we will remove the allegedly infringing material from public view while we assess the issues identified in your notice.
Approximately twenty-five issues of the APALA News, three books, and some issues of Filipinas magazine were separated for library cataloging. Some personnel documents pertaining to employee finances and health insurance and/or containing sensitive information like Social Security numbers were removed. Personal materials were returned to the donors.
About this Guide
In 2012, photographs, negatives, slides, and contact sheets were removed from their original housing and placed into archival quality containers or folders. In all such cases, the original order of the materials was maintained, and any labels were copied onto the new containers or folders. Unlabeled photographs and negatives were kept in their original groupings. Folder titles added by the archivist are indicated with square brackets. In 2014, materials found in the repository were added to Box 5 of the collection.
In 2014, the archived website was added to the collection. Additional websites were added to the finding aid in 2019-2023.