Tibetan-American elected to executive board of Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance

Jigme Ugen(C) flanked by four Tibetan union member leaders. Image: Jigme Ugen Facebook. 

DHARAMSALA, 14 Aug: A Tibetan-American has been elected to the executive board of Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance(APALA) for the first time.

Jigme Ugen became the first Tibetan refugee as well as the first Minnesotan elected to APALA board on 11 Aug.

“Emotional, proud and honoured to be elected to the executive board of Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance,” Ugen said after his election in a Facebook post.

“I remain committed to continuing fighting for and centring the voices and experiences of refugees, immigrants and people of colour around worker’s rights, immigration and environmental justice across the world!” he added.

The Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) is a nonprofit organization of Asian-Pacific American trade union members affiliated with the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL–CIO) is the largest federation of unions in the United States. It is also the “first and only national organization for Asian Pacific American union members

Jigme Ugen is a Tibetan refugee born in Kalimpong, India. He immigrated to the US in the early 2000s. Ugen has worked with many political organizations including the 2002 senate campaign for Paul Wellstone.

The Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance was founded on 1992 when 500 Asian-Pacific American labor activists met to found a new national labor organization to give Asian and Pacific Islander workers a more effective voice within the AFL-CIO and on labor issues nationally.

APALA is the official voice of the 500,000 Asian and Pacific Islander labour union members in the AFL-CIO and has 13 chapters in the US.

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