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Finding Aid to the Katie Quan Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) collection
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Comprises notes, correspondence, memos, agendas, minutes, reports, convention materials, rosters, press material and other organizational documents collected and generated by Katie Quan in her role as a founding member of the Asian Pacific American Alliance (APALA). APALA, a nationwide organization of Asian Pacific American trade unionists formed under the auspices of the AFL-CIO, was created in response to the working conditions, concerns and aspirations of Asian Pacific American workers.
Katie Quan, one of the leading Asian Americans in the U. S. labor movement, has been involved in the Asian American community since her student days at the University of California, Berkeley, when she worked with Oakland-based civil rights groups. In 1975, Quan moved to New York City and worked as a sewing machine operator in a Chinatown garment factory. She joined the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU) that same year, and then became a shop steward in 1982. She went on to join the union staff as an educator and an organizer. During her years in New York City, Quan helped establish a day care center for garment workers and helped organize the Chinese Committee of the Coalition of Labor Union Women, a political and social group for Chinese seamstresses. She returned to San Francisco in 1990 to take on the position of manager of the Pacific Northwest District Council of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees Union (UNITE), and in 1992 she was instrumental in establishing the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), a nationwide group of Asian Pacific unionists formed under the auspices of the AFL-CIO. She served as the vice president of APALA and international vice president of ILGWU and its successor, UNITE. Quan's husband, Richard Leung, president of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 87, was also a founding member of APALA and he served as its treasurer.Founded in 1992 the Asian Pacific American Alliance (APALA) is the first and only National organization of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander (AAPI) workers, whose mission is to advance worker, immigrant and civil rights. In 1990, AAPI labor activists approached the AFL-CIO with a proposal to form a national AAPI group. A year later, the AFL-CIO Executive Council established a committee to explore the formation of a national AAPI labor group. The 37-member Steering Committee was formed from representatives of the three regional AAPI labor groups, the Hawaii State AFL-CIO, and seven founding unions. In 1992, over 500 labor activists from around the country convened in Washington, D.C. for the founding of APALA.
3.75 Cubic Feet (3 cartons)
Copyright has not been assigned to the Labor Archives and Research Center. All requests for permission to publish or quote from materials must be submitted in writing to the Director of the Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Labor Archives and Research Center as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.
Collection is open for research. Some material is restricted to protect personal identifiable information. Access restrictions are noted at the file level. Please contact the Director of the Labor Archives and Research Center for more information.