Asian American Heritage Month

A letter from AFA-CWA Local 29011 Member Stan Kiino

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 who 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 fatality. 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. Neither our unions nor our employers should tolerate hate and discrimination.

We strive for acceptance and tolerance in the workplace, yet this endeavor is not always present outside of our workplace communities. People of color, women, elderly, immigrant, and LGBTQ folks continue to be subject to both verbal and physical assault.

We speak with pride as Flight Attendants, as workers who have chosen a career because of our interest in travel and to experience different countries and cultures. Not only does this add to the value of the work we provide for our employers but enhances our personal lives.

This value also exists in the diversity of our work colleagues, whether they fly or not for a living. 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.

It then could follow that we bring to our homes, communities, and organizations a strong sense of equality, acceptance, and tolerance. These values can help change hearts and minds.

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”.

In Gratitude,

Stan Kiino, AFA-CWA, APALA Board and Local San Francisco Chapter Member