Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA

Building upon the legacy of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center

Congratulations to Advancing Justice-LA's Alumnus Julie Su on Nomination to Deputy Labor Secretary

LOS ANGELES, CA — February 10, 2021 — Today, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles (Advancing Justice-LA) applauds the nomination of its former Litigation Director Julie Su for the position of Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor.  
 
For over 15 years, Julie Su played a pivotal role at Advancing Justice-LA (formerly known as the Asian Pacific American Legal Center) by leading the litigation on landmark civil and workers’ rights cases.  Most notable was the Thai Garment Workers Case.   
 
In Bureerong v. Uvawas, Julie Su led a legal team that filed a lawsuit on behalf of 102 garment workers who had been exploited, most of whom had actually been enslaved, by sweatshop operators. The suit challenged the sweatshop operators, as well as the retailers and manufacturers that profited from their labor. This was the first federal lawsuit of its kind, not only setting the precedent in holding manufacturers and retailers accountable for the conditions in which their clothes are made, but leading to new federal laws protecting immigrants who are trafficking into the country. In May 1999, the case ended after a final settlement was reached – total settlements from more than 10 manufacturers and private label retailers exceeded $4 million. 
 
Connie Chung Joe, CEO, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles states,  
 
“We are immensely proud of Julie Su whose work at Advancing Justice-LA on the Thai Garment Workers’ Case in 1995 led to profound changes in labor laws and immigration laws that define responsible working conditions and protect victims of human trafficking throughout the U.S..Her 15+-year tenure as Litigation Director set the trajectory for Advancing Justice-LA's work in legal services and advocacy for the AANHPI communities today. 
 
Julie has been and continues to be intentional about serving marginalized people most in need. She is a shining example of how, with immense determination and diligence, Advancing Justice-LA fulfills its mission to advance the well-being of the AANHPI community, and all communities of color.  We celebrate her appointment in the Biden-Harris administration, and look forward to more AANHPI representation at the highest levels of our government.” 
 
Los Angeles joins in this shared statement representing the Asian Americans Advancing Justice affiliates in Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington, DC:
 
“Advancing Justice congratulates Julie Su on her nomination. Julie Su has spent her decades-long career fighting for workers' rights and ensuring their health and safety. Her nomination is a win for all working people, including people of color, immigrants, and women. As the former Litigation Director of Advancing Justice - Los Angeles, Su advocated and helped deliver a victory for Thai garment workers in the El Monte sweatshop case, which led to sweeping changes in our country’s labor laws and protection for victims of human trafficking. As a champion for the underserved in California, she not only represented the workers, but also helped them access health care, find housing, and empowered them to tell their stories in court. As California’s Labor Commissioner, Su led a renaissance in the agency’s enforcement activity, with strategic reforms that resulted in record-setting recoveries and relief for some of the state’s most abused and marginalized workers. As California’s Secretary of Labor, Su continued to fight for the rights of workers across the state. 
 
We first supported Su’s candidacy to be Secretary of Labor, and we are confident that she will be a significant asset as the Deputy Secretary. Especially given the lack of Asian American and Pacific Islander cabinet secretaries, we will keep up the pressure to ensure that more of our community is visible at the highest levels of government.” 
Contact: 
Liza Ameen, Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, (213) 977-7500 x258, lameen@advancingjustice-la.org
About Advancing Justice - LA: 
Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles (Advancing Justice-LA) is the nation’s largest legal and civil rights organization for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPI). Through direct services, impact litigation, policy advocacy, leadership development, and capacity building, Advancing Justice-LA focuses on the most vulnerable members of Asian American and NHPI communities while also building a strong voice for civil rights and social justice.
Wednesday, February 10, 2021

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Our mission is to advocate for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders and to create a more equitable and harmonious society.