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Celebrate Fil-Am History Month by Continuing the Legacy of Workers’ Resistance

BAYAN USA honors Filipino American History Month by commemorating Larry Itliong Day and honoring all the contributions by Filipino workers to the Labor movement in the United States, past and present. We call on Filipinos everywhere to continue on this legacy of workers’ resistance. 

Larry Itliong was a militant Filipino organizer who is most notably known for his role in the organizing of Filipino farmworkers in Delano, California. He also aided in forming the first Filipino union in Stockton and was the first shop steward for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 37 (ILWU 37), the first union for Filipinos working in canneries under the discriminatory and dangerous work conditions. Larry Itliong was vocally against the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos Sr., bridging the Filipino people’s resistance in the US to that in the Philippines.

The struggle continues today. Amid the worsening economic crisis of stagnant wages and high prices, Filipino workers are on the frontlines of labor struggles across the country. 

In Jersey City, Jollibee workers are rising up. Nine Jollibee workers at Journal Square, New Jersey were unjustly terminated for organizing for higher wages and better working conditions. Now former and current Jollibee workers and community members are fighting to defend the rights of all Jollibee workers! The workers’ collective action has already scored one campaign victory after several workers were reinstated. But the fight to win all the workers’ demands of upholding workers’ rights to organize; back pay and compensation for lost wages; a public apology; and better pay, holiday pay, and other workplace improvements continues on. 

Across the US, Filipino workers are also demanding accountability not only from their US-based employers, but also the Philippine government responsible for ensuring the welfare of its workers abroad. Let us join them in demanding a Philippine budget that prioritizes assistance for workers overseas over corruption and surveillance.

To celebrate Filipino American history is to continue our historic struggle for rights and collective liberation, especially for the most exploited and oppressed in our community. Let us continue to be inspired by the fighting spirit of Larry Itliong and all Filipino workers fighting for their rights to organize and for a better society. 

Take action today:

• Learn more and take action for the Justice for Jollibee Workers Campaign:
• Sign the 2024 People’s Budget Unity Letter: