I came to the U.S. in ’76. My parents were not really educated—maybe junior high or high school. Growing up, we talked about a lot of things—politics, religion, social problems.   My father talked a lot about how important the democracy and people’s right and freedom.  

I guess we all are involved in the labor movement—“the haves” and the “don’t haves.” I am always on the other side, I guess—the “don’t haves.” When I went to college I had to earn my tuition. I did a lot of back-breaking labor—I carried rocks at a construction site. So yes, I learned the value of the labor.

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I first started with the State of Washington as an employee at the Chehalis Community Service Office. Everybody joined the union, so it was automatic thing. With all the mistreatment I had with my previous jobs, I was really looking forward to join.

I had the good feeling that I was part of union. I saw the working class mistreated. I think every worker needs a union to protect their basic rights and needs, and the only means to gain that is through the union. What else is out there?  

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As a state employee, a lot of folks probably feel we already got too much. Whatever benefits we have were established by the union—the people. We don’t want that to be taken away. What has been done is over many years. Slowly it’s being taking away.   [The state] pays less and they demand more work. They budget in such a way to take a lot human services and of course lay off a lot of employees and try to contract out state jobs to outside.

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That’s not going to help or resolve the problems of the budget. There should be other ways to handle it. I think it’s about time to let these lawmakers know while they raise their salaries they haven’t given a cost of living increase to the state employees for how many years? Enough is enough.

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I think Asians ourselves need to be involved more in order to gain some voice politically and socially. So how are we going to resolve this? The only means we have to gain voice is by recruiting more people and have more people get involved.

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