Labor Day: no work, no school. Many of us probably have something planned this weekend — a trip, a get-together, or a self-care day. But let’s not forget the importance of Labor Day, and that’s to recognize the achievements of the labor movement and the stories of working people. Today, I’d like to specifically pay tribute to all Pilipin@ workers and Pilipin@ leaders who fought and continue to fight for workers’ rights.

“As Pilipino Americans, we should celebrate people like the Manongs who have been left out of history books or domestic workers who are at the forefront of changing the rules and conditions of their work. “

— Gregory Cendana

Today, let’s honor:

Our Manongs

The Delano Grape Strike’s 52nd anniversary is this coming Friday, September 8. On September 8th, 1965, our Manongs, a group of Pilipin@ farmworkers in Delano, California organized a strike against grape growers to demand better working conditions. Fierce AF. Learn more about our Manongs here.

Domestic workers and Overseas Filipino Workers

Many of our titas and titos take care of other people or an entire household. We’re natural caretakers.

Domestic workers comprise a significant part of the global workforce in informal employment and are among the most vulnerable groups of workers. They work for private households, often without clear terms of employment, unregistered in any book, and excluded from the scope of labour legislation. Their work may include tasks such as cleaning the house, cooking, washing and ironing clothes, taking care of children, or elderly or sick members of a family, gardening, guarding the house, driving for the family, and even taking care of household pets. — International Labour Organization

We do not shy away from any type of work and because of this, we are unfortunately susceptible to some of the horrendous working conditions.

Healthcare workers

From nurses to dental assistants, they make our visits to the hospital or dentist feel like home.

Service agents

Nothing makes me happier on the phone when I hear a customer service agent on the other line and they ask, “Pilipino po?” I know I’m in good hands.

Organizers and activists

They make our world a better place. Special shoutout to those fighting for workers’ rights: Asian Pacific Labor Alliance, Filipino Migrant Center, Filipino Advocates for Justice, Pilipino Workers Center, Migrante International. If I’m missing any, please comment below and I’d be happy to add them!

“The labor movement is under attack by conservative forces and is literally one of the few things standing in the way from complete corporate domination in the US. We must stand up for workers, defend unions and make sure they address the needs of members.“

— Gregory Cendana

Become a part of the workers’ rights movement by learning about the organizations above, joining a union, becoming a member of any of AFL-CIO constituency groups including APALA, and/or donating to a workers’ rights organization.

Every Pilipin@ worker making their mark on an industry we are underrepresented

This includes tech, music, fashion, and more!

As you enjoy today, think about our ates and kuyas building a healthier and better world for us.


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