We Are One: 40th Anniversary of the 1982 Chinatown Garment Workers Strike

May-July 2022

In early summer 1982, over 20,000 members of Local 23-25 of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union—most Chinese immigrant women—walked off the job in protest of dangerous working conditions, long hours, and low wages. In honor of this historic event, The W.O.W. Project alongside Workers United, APALA, and Central Labor Council will come together to celebrate the 40th anniversary of this historic event.

Monday, May 2 • 6-7PM • Virtual
Chinatown Heroes: Virtual book Launch and 1982 Strike Retrospective
Writer and scholar Winifred Chin in discussion with veterans of the strike, including Katie Quan, Muzaffar Chisti and Edgar Romney; and retired ILGWU leader and translator of the book May Chen in discussion with with Silvia Chan and Mei Lum. Event recording available soon.

Thursday, May 12 • 6-6:30PM • Virtual
Virtual Clara Lemlich Awards for Social Activism featuring strike veteran Edgar Romney, and saluting previous honorees who helped organize the strike. Event recording available here.

Saturday, May 21 • 12-1PM • Confucius Statue at Bowery & Division
Garment Workers Uprising in Chinatown Walking Tour
Join May Chen and Dan Katz for the first labor history walking tour in Chinatown exploring the garment workers' 1982 strike and other labor history milestones in the community.

Thursday, June 9 • 6:30PM • Tenement Museum
Lower East Side Tenement Museum Workshop

Friday, June 24 • 9-10:30PM • Lafayette & Howard
Projection Night with Chinatown Art Brigade

Chinatown Art Brigade and The W.O.W. Project come together for a night of projections celebrating Chinatown’s labor history through slogans, animation, and moving image. We will invite attendees to activate our People’s Pad, projecting live responses to questions regarding our neighborhood’s future and its relationship to labor.

Saturday, June 25 • 2-4PM • Columbus Park
We Are One Commemoration Event
This commemoration event in Columbus Park, 67 Mulberry Street, New York Chinatown (the location of the 1982 rallies) will include music, dance, children’s activities and veterans speaking about the strike. Organized by Local 23-25 Workers United, the W.O.W. Project, LaborArts, City Lore, the NYC Central Labor Council, and the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance.

July (date to be announced)
Garment workers Reunion and We Are One Film Showing

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