Sign up For DC 37 News


Public Employee Press

South Asian American labor group sets an aggressive fightback agenda at conference

A South Asian American labor group plans to aggressively build its membership and fight win back the U.S. Congress in 2018.

Participants at the Alliance of South Asian Labor’s 10th annual convention on Dec. 9 celebrated their growing political strength.

They sharply decried the attack on immigrants, middle-class families and the poor from the White House and U.S. Congress. The group expects to take part in voter registration drives and get-out-the-vote efforts in 2018.

Speakers highlighted the victories of South Asians in the November election in New Jersey, where ASAAL helped elect officials in state and local elections.

Maf Misbah Uddin, the president and founder of ASAAL and treasurer of DC 37, reported that the group is now recognized as a constituency group of the New York State AFL-CIO.

Uddin, who is also president of DC 37 Accountants, Statisticians and Actuaries Local 1407, said the state group’s recognition improves the visibility of South Asians and helps ASAAL with its political work in New York and beyond.

The group’s legislative agenda in New York for 2018 includes bills that call for easing the enrollment process of unions; making the assault of taxi drivers a class D felony; establishing the holidays of Eid-al-Adha and Eid-al-Fitr in public schools; enacting New York State’s own DREAM Act to help the children of immigrants with their education, and protecting workers from discrimination on the job related religious attire.

The convention’s honorees were Terrence Melvin, president of the Coalition of Black Trade Unions and secretary-treasurer of the New York State AFL-CIO, Eddie Rodriguez, president of DC 37 and Local 1549 president, and Local 375’s Ahmed Shakir, who is ASAAL’s treasurer and a member of the DC 37 Executive Board.

— Gregory N. Heires