Given the COVID-19 pandemic, rise in white supremacy, and the current political climate where the rich become wealthier while working people continue to suffer, there is an immediate need for Asian workers to come together in a multi-racial struggle towards liberatory justice. What are Asian workers doing to organize their workplaces, unions, and the broader labour movement? How do intersections of class, race, and gender affect Asian workers organizing in settler-colonial Canada? How do we build an intra-Asian coalition as we fight for justice in the landscape we’re currently in? Celebrate twenty years of the Asian Canadian Labour Alliance in B.C. and join us in conversation as we explore these questions, featuring union leaders and organizers who are advancing worker justice within their communities and beyond.
This online panel will include artwork and performances from the following artists:
- Marlene Yuen (current show “Cheap! Diligent! Faithful!” from Sep. 25-Dec.12, 2020 at https://grunt.ca/exhibitions/)
- Son of James
Nym Calvez is a hotel worker, and an organizer and executive board member with UNITE HERE Local 40. She is also an executive board member at COPE. Nym was one of the lead organizers of the 2019 Vancouver hotel strikes, which resulted in hotel workers gaining historic raises of up to 25% at multiple downtown hotels.
Rabia Mohamed is identified as a Muslim women wearing the traditional hijab (head cover). She was born in Uganda, East Africa and immigrated to Canada at the tender age of 7 years old, and raised and educated in a small town west of the City of Toronto. Rabia’s struggle with racism and discrimination has been a lifelong struggle despite being a Canadian national for virtually her entire life. For over 25 years, she has worked within the Logistics/Transport industry, and she currently works for Canadian Blood Services in the role of a Dispatch / Supply Technician supporting Canada’s Lifeline, Blood Supply Chain. She is a member of the HEU as an active Steward advocating for the rights of employees within the framework of Facilities Collective Bargaining Agreement. She is also the Co-Chair on the Joint Health and Safety Committee. Rabia is passionate about volunteering for initiatives that support newcomers and refugees within her local community and is passionate about international human rights, domestic civil rights and speaking out against oppression.
Vincent Tao is a labour union organizer, housing activist, and educator based in Vancouver. Tao is currently working as a community organizer at the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU). He was previously an organizer at the Teaching Support Staff Union, where he was hired to help coordinate a successful campaign to unionize 1,500 research assistants at Simon Fraser University.
Yi Chien Jade Ho 何宜謙 is currently an education doctoral student at Simon Fraser University and a steering committee member of the Vancouver Tenants Union. Jade has been a housing rights organizer for the past 5 years working primarily in Vancouver’s Chinatown fighting against gentrification and racism. She is also a labour organizer with the Teaching Support Staff Union. In 2019, she was part of a successful unionization drive for research assistants and grant employees at SFU, making RAs at SFU the first unionized research workers in West Coast Canada. Her doctoral work centers on developing a radical pedagogy of place through decolonial lenses focusing on settlers of color and their connection to place, land and identity.
Rozhin Emadi is a high school teacher and labour unionist with the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation. She is part of BCTF’s anti-racism action group within the Committee for Action on Social Justice (CASJ). She has also been involved with the anti-war movement in Vancouver for many years. She strives to provide an anti-capitalist analysis when looking into various inequalities and injustices that exist in our society.
Gayle Nye is one of the proud founding members of the Asian Canadian Labour Alliance in BC.
As a former BCGEU Equity and Human Rights Officer and member of the CLC Human Rights and Women’s Committees, Gayle and co-workers attended a Convention of the Asian Pacific American Labour Alliance and were inspired to establish a Canadian solidarity counterpart. Numerous labour staff, activists and friends built ACLA during those early and intervening years.
Gayle has since been working with Antidote: Multiracial & Indigenous Girls and Women’s Network. Since retiring in 2019 as United Way Greater Victoria Labour Coordinator she has been coordinating a project with the Chinese Community Services Centre “Telling Our Stories – A Victoria Chinatown History”.
Gayle rejoins the Asian Canadian Labour Alliance to help celebrate its 20th Anniversary, re-energized in the fight for racial and social justice.
*Only registered attendees will receive the Zoom link, which will be emailed prior to the panel.
*This panel will not be recorded. We ask participants to respect others’ privacy by not recording any part of the event (e.g. via video, photography, screenshotting, etc.) unless consent is requested and given.
Endorsed by: BC Government and Service Employees’ Union, BC Health Coalition, Canadian Union of Labour Employees, Gabriela BC, Health Sciences Association of BC, Health Sciences Association Staff Union, Migrante BC, Public Service Alliance of Canada-BC Region, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 247, United Food and Commercial Workers-Canada, Union of Needletrades, Industrial, and Textile Employees and Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union Local 40, VALU CO-OP: Vancouver Artists Labour Union Cooperative, Vancouver & District Labour Council