The seeds of the Worker Support & Organizing Program were planted in 2002 when FAJ organized immigrant airport screeners displaced by the Aviation Transportation and Security Act (ATSA) passed in response to the 9/11 tragedies. The requirement that all airport security screeners be U.S. citizens resulted in massive firings of airport screeners nationally. In the S.F. Bay Area this impacted Filipino workers who had previously held 65 percent of airport screener jobs. We helped Filipino screeners at the Oakland Airport organize a “Justice for Screeners” campaign to defend their rights and form the worker-led group PAWIS.
Filipino Advocates for Justice continues to work with PAWIS by providing support for worker organizing meetings, campaign development, workshops on understanding the economic crisis, knowing and defending our rights, financial literacy and assistance in accessing services and public benefits to help with workers’ basic needs. Because older workers are hit particularly hard by lay-offs at Oakland Airport, PAWIS launched the “Justice for Manong” campaign in August 2009, to fight age discrimination in the workplace.
See our PAWIS video and tribute to the late Danilo Orcullo, PAWIS leader and Chairperson.
Our great friend and long-time worker leader, Danilo Orcullo, died from heart complications October 26, 2009 after going into cardiac arrest on Sunday morning at Oakland Airport, where he worked for over 15 years. He was a father, grandfather, husband, friend, and a joker who improved lives with equal parts laughter and struggle. He leaves us a legacy of fearless struggle, laughter and a fire that we will all keep alive! Learn more about Danilo.
(video by Katie Joaquin)
Airport passenger service workers at Oakland International were hit hard by the intensification of the financial and economic crisis. Older workers were the first to be laid off and were primarily Filipinos with a history of defending workers rights at the airport. PAWIS launched the “Justice for Manong” campaign in August 2009, to fight age discrimination in the workplace. Read about their victory.
(Video courtesy of Balitang America, ABS-CBN Intl.)