David is talking about a union organizing effort at a private zip-sorting mail house.

The union organizing effort came about partly because our own national union didn't believe in organizing outside the postal field—I guess it was too big of a challenge for them. A bunch of old-timers were running things. A number of union people had gotten together to work on privatization issues, and some of us knew a progressive Teamster local that was interested in organizing. The Teamsters local and our local teamed up to provide volunteers for a blitz—a real fast campaign to talk to all the workers as quickly as possible and ask them to sign cards before the boss could take counter measures.

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We did the blitz. That was the most interesting part of the whole campaign—the process of getting a number of rank and file people involved in organizing just for that one weekend, and my own experience of being one of those people going and talking to workers who weren’t in the union. They were mostly young Asian American workers who hadn't been in a union before but knew the job was a lousy job.

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It was a low wage place, but I guess the thing that made a real difference was just the lack of respect that management had towards the people that worked there. Management was pretty much all white. The workers on the floor were mostly Filipino or Samoan or various Asian ethnicities. And there was just a lot of ways in which they talked down to them. They would just talk really loud and slow at people like they were dumb—the way the managers would talk to some of the workers.

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I think labor needs to have a stronger presence on issues that affect immigrant communities [and] immigrants rights. Labor needs to show its support for the Asian community and build bridges there.

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