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Asian Pacific American Labor Organizing: An Annotated Bibliography, Part I: Historical Struggles, 1840s – 1960s

By Glenn Omatsu

Section O to Z:

Ochs, Patricia M., "A History of Chinese Labor in San Luis Obispo County and a Comparison of Chinese Relations in the County with the Anti-Chinese Movement in California," M.A. thesis, California State Polytechnic College, 1966. Analysis of attitudes toward Chinese immigrant laborers in one California community.

Oda, James, Heroic Struggles of Japanese Americans: Partisan Fighters from America’s Concentration Camps (Los Angeles: KNI, Inc., 1981). Includes a chapter on the formation of Retail Clerks International Protective Association Local 770 in Los Angeles in the late 1930s and the role of Japanese American labor activists in the union.

Oka, Naoki et al., eds., "Sokoku wo Teki to Shite," in Nihon Heiwaron Taikei, vol. 17 (Tokyo: Nihon Tosho Senta, 1994). Biography of Oka Shigeki, a long-time Issei socialist and newspaper publisher.

Okihiro, Gary, Cane Fires: The Anti-Japanese Movement in Hawaii, 1865-1945 (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1991). Analysis of anti-Japanese agitation in Hawai‘i.

Omatsu, Glenn, "Racism or Solidarity? Unions and Asian Immigrant Workers," Radical Teacher (1995):33-37. Historically, American unions faced the challenge of responding to Asian immigrant workers with either racism or solidarity; almost all unions chose racism.

Ong, Paul M., "The Central Pacific Railroad and Exploitation of Chinese Labor," Journal of Ethnic Studies 13:2 (Summer 1985). Exploitation of Chinese immigrant labor for railroad construction.

Ong, Paul M., "Chinese Labor in Early San Francisco: Racial Segmentation and Industrial Expansion," Amerasia Journal 8:1 (1981):69-92. Analyzes occupational niches of early Chinese immigrant workers in terms of racism, exclusion, and the development of an enclave economy.

Ong, Paul M., "Chinese Laundries as an Urban Occupation in Nineteenth Century California," The Annals of the Chinese Historical Society of the Pacific Northwest (Seattle: publisher, 1983). Laundry work for early Chinese immigrants.

"Only a Damn Chink," Rebel Worker 2 (February 15, 1919). A brutal raid on a Chinese IWW meeting in New York.

Patterson, Wayne K., The Korean Frontier in America: Immigration to Hawaii, 1896-1910 (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1988). Includes information about early Korean immigrant laborers.

Pense, Eldon R., California Nativism: Organized Opposition to the Japanese, 1890-1913 (San Francisco: R & E Research Associates, 1973). Anti-Japanese agitation by early American union leaders.

Perlman, Mark, "Organized Labor in Hawaii," Labor Law Journal 3 (1952). Overview of labor struggles in Hawai‘i.

Pesotta, Rose, "Sub-Cellar Garment Shops in San Francisco Chinatown," Justice (April 1, 1934). Exploitation of immigrant garment workers.

Pivar, David J., "The American Federation of Labor and Filipino Exclusion, 1927-34," in Saniel, Josefa M., ed., The Filipino Exclusion Movement 1927-35, Occasional Papers No. 1 (Quezon City, Philippines: Institute of Asian Studies, University of Philippines, 1967. Anti-Filipino agitation by American union leaders.

Posadas, Barbara M., "Ethnic Life and Labor in Chicago’s Pre-World War II Filipino Community," in Asher, Robert and Charles Stephenson, eds., Ethnicity and American Labor (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1987). Includes information on working lives of early Filipino immigrants in Chicago.

Posadas, Barbara M., "The Hierarchy of Color and Psychological Adjustment in an Industrial Environment: Filipinos, the Pullman Company, and the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters," Labor History 11 (1982). Filipino immigrant laborers fight for justice and equality.

Posadas, Barbara M. and Roland L. Guyotte, "Aspiration and Reality: Occupational and Educational Choice among Filipino Migrants to Chicago, 1900-1935," Illinois Historical Journal 85 (Summer 1992):89-104. Includes information about working lives of early Filipino immigrants in Chicago.

Puette, Bill, The Hilo Massacre: Hawaii’s Bloody Monday August 1st 1938 (Honolulu: Center for Labor Education and Research, University of Hawai‘i, 1988). Commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of a labor demonstration in Honolulu which was the target of police violence.

Quinn, Larry D., "Chink, Chink Chinaman – the Beginning of Nativism in Montana," Pacific Historical Quarterly 58:2 (April 1967). Anti-Chinese agitation by early American unions.

Rademaker, John A., "The Exercise of Union Power in 1946 and 1947," Social Process in Hawaii 11 (1947). Sugar strike of 1946.

Reinecke, John, The Filipino Piecemeal Sugar Strike of 1924-25, edited by Beechert, Edward and Alice Beechert (Honolulu: Social Science Research Institute, University of Hawai‘i, 1996). Filipino labor activism in Hawai‘i.

Rhee, J., "In Black and White: Chinese in the Mississippi Delta," Journal of Supreme Court History (1994):117-132. Status of early Chinese immigrants in race-conscious South.

Rodo (labor). Semi-monthly published in Seattle; founded in 1920 and edited by Kazuo Miyata.

Rodo no Chikara (The workers’ power). Monthly published from New York in early 1920s. Official publication of Nihonjin Rodo Kyokai (Japanese labour association of New York City); edited by Yoshio Nishimura.

Rodo Shimbun, San Francisco, 1930-1936. Japanese language newspaper published by the Communist Party of the U.S. in San Francisco; included extensive coverage of labor struggles involving Japanese immigrants.

Roediger, David R., The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class (London: Verso, 1991). Analyzes construction of "whiteness" in terms of the development of a white working-class in America.

Rony Fujita, Dorothy, "Coalitions, Race, and Labor: Rereading Philip Vera Cruz," Journal of Asian American Studies 3:2 (June 2000):139-162. Focus on the leadership of Filipino immigrant Philip Vera Cruz and his work in the United Farmworkers union (UFW).

Rosenberg, Daniel, "The IWW and Organization of Asian Workers in the Early 20th Century America," Labor History 36:1 (Winter 1995):77-87. Unlike the AFL, the IWW organized Chinese immigrant workers.

Rudolph, Frederick, "Chinamen in Yankeedom: Anti-Unionism in Massachusetts in 1870," American Historical Review 53:1 (October 1947). Analyzes anti-Chinese sentiment by Knights of Labor when Chinese immigrants were brought to Massachusetts by manufacturers in the shoe industry to break a union organizing campaign of white workers.

Sakata, Yasuo, Fading Footsteps of the Issei: An Annotated Check List of the Manuscript Holdings of the Japanese American Research Project Collection (Los Angeles: UCLA Asian American Studies Center, 1992). Includes research citations relating to Japanese immigrant labor organizing.

Salomon, Larry, "Filipinos Build a Movement for Justice in the Asparagus Fields," Third Force (September/October 1994):30-31. Filipino farmworkers in Salinas, California, during the 1930s.

San Buenaventura, Steffi, "Hawaii’s ‘1946 Sakada,’" Social Process in Hawaii 37 (1996):74-90. Filipino immigrants lead major strike in Hawai‘i.

San Juan, E., "The Filipino Worker in the U.S.: An Introduction to Carlos Bulosan," East Wind 1:2 (Fall/Winter 1982). Analysis of the role of writer Carlos Bulosan in articulating the issues of Filipino immigrant workers.

Sandmeyer, Elmer, The Anti-Chinese Movement in California (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1973). Analysis of anti-Chinese immigrant worker sentiment by early American unions.

Saxton, Alexander, "The Effects of Chinese Immigration on the Structure of the American Labor Movement, 1850-1900," unpublished manuscript, University of California, Los Angeles. Contends that the foundation of U.S. unions is built on racist exclusion of Asian immigrant workers.

Saxton, Alexander, The Indispensable Enemy: Labor and the Anti-Chinese Movement in California (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1971). Analyzes the growth of the union movement in California in terms of its campaigns against Chinese immigrant workers.

Saxton, Alexander, "The Indispensable Enemy and Ideological Construction: Reminiscences of an Octogenarian Radical," Amerasia Journal 26:1 (2000):86-102. Reflections by a labor historian on the forces that shaped his life and his approach to writing history.

Scarlin, Craig and Lilia V. Villanueva, Philip Vera Cruz: A Personal History of Filipino Immigrants and the Farmworkers Movement, Omatsu, Glenn and Augusto Espiritu, eds. (Los Angeles: UCLA Labor Center, Institute of Industrial Relations and UCLA Asian American Studies Center, 1994; reprinted by University of Washington Press, 1999). Life of the Filipino immigrant labor leader, including his work in co-founding with Cesar Chavez the United Farmworkers union (UFW) and his decision to resign from the union due to conflicts with the leadership.

Scharrenberg, "The Attitude of Organized Labor Towards the Japanese, "A.A. of P. and S.S., Annals 93 (January 1921). Presents the argument by early American unions for exclusion of Japanese immigrant workers.

Scharrenberg, "The Philippine Problem, Attitude of American Labor Toward Filipino Immigration and Philippine Independence, "Pacific Affairs 2:2 (February 1929). Presents the argument by early American unions for exclusion of Filipino immigrant workers.

Schwartz, Harvey, "A Union Combats Racism: The ILWU’s Japanese-American ‘Stockton Incident’ of 1945," Southern California Quarterly 42:2 (1980). Solidarity by members of ILWU to Japanese Americans.

Sengupta, Somini, "Reflections of a Labor Legend," Filipinas (July 1993):27-29+. Profile of Philip Vera Cruz. Profile of the immigrant Filipino leader of the United Farmworkers union (UFW).

Showalter, Michael P., "The Watsonville Anti-Filipino Riot of 1930: A Reconsideration of Fermin Tobera’s Murder," Southern California Quarterly (Winter 1989):341-348. Labor conflict in California. Analysis of anti-Filipino riot by white workers that led to the death of Filipino immigrant Fermin Tobera.

Siu, Paul, "The Chinese Laundrymen: A Study of Social Isolation," Ph.D. dissertation, University of Chicago, 1953. Analysis of early Chinese immigrants as "sojourners" in America.

Southern California Chinese American Oral History Project: Cumulative Index (Los Angeles: UCLA Asian American Studies Center and Chinese Historical Society of Southern California, 1982). Index of 165 interviews, including 23 conducted in Chinese.

Spickard, Paul et al, eds., Pacific Islander Americans: An Annotated Bibliography in the Social Sciences (Laie, Hawai‘i: Institute for Polynesian Studies, Brigham Young University Hawai‘i, 1995). Includes information on working lives of Pacific Islander Americans.

Streamas, John, "Karl Yoneda and Japanese American Resistance," Nature, Society & Thought 11:4 (1998):489-499. Analysis of the activism of Karl Yoneda from the 1920s to the 1980s.

Steadman, J.C. and R. A. Leonard, The Workingmen’s Party of California: An Epitome of Its Rise and Progress (San Francisco: Bacon & Company, 1878). Includes information on the Party’s anti-Asian racism.

Stern, Bernard W., Unionism: Labor Relations in the Honolulu Transit Industry (Honolulu: Center for Labor Education and Research, University of Hawai‘i, 1986. Includes some information on the participation of Asian American union members.

Stone, W. W., "The Knights of Labor on the Chinese Question," Overland Monthly 7:9 (March 1886). Presents the argument for exclusion of Chinese immigrants workers from the U.S.

Storti, Craig, Incident at Bitter Creek: The Story of the Rock Springs Chinese Massacre (Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1990). Anti-Chinese racism by white miners.

Street, Richard, "The 1903 Oxnard Sugar Beet Strike: A New Ending," Labor History 39:2 (May 1998):193-199. Solidarity between Japanese immigrants and Mexican Americans in farmworker organizing.

Street, Richard Steven, "The ‘Battle of Salinas’: San Francisco Bay Area Press Photographers and the Salinas Valley Lettuce Strike of 1936," Journal of the West 26:2 (April 1987):41-51. Includes some information on Filipino immigrant workers.

Sung, Betty Lee, Mountain of Gold (New York: MacMillan Company, 1967). History of Chinese Americans.

Sunoo, Sonia, Korean Kaleidoscope: Oral Histories: Early Korean Pioneers in the U.S.A., vol. 1 (Davis, California: publisher, 1982). Collection of sixteen pioneer Korean immigrant oral histories collected between 1975 and 1979, including Pyong-uk Rhee, who worked as an interpreter on a Hawai‘i sugar plantation; and Sung-Jin Kim, who worked eighteen years at Ewa plantation in Hawai‘i.

Swartout, Robert R., Kwangtung to Big Sky: The Chinese in Montana, 1864-1900," Montana 38 (Winter 1988):42-53. Includes information on the working lives of Chinese immigrants, particularly in mining.

Tachihata, Chieko, "Sovereignty Movement in Hawaii: Bibliography," Contemporary Pacific 6 (Spring 1994):201-210. Includes some information on labor and labor exploitation of native Hawaiians.

Takaki, Ronald, Pau Hana: Plantation Life and Labor in Hawaii (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1983). History of worker struggles on Hawaiian sugar plantations.

Takaki, Ronald, A Different Mirror: A Multicultural History of America (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1993). Includes chapters on Chinese Americans and Japanese Americans as well as some information on anti-Chinese sentiments of early Irish immigrants.

Takaki, Ronald, Strangers from a Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1989). Covers the labor histories of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino and Indian (Punjabi) immigrants and their relationship to broader themes in Asian American history, such as the struggles against racism in U.S. society

Tamura, Eileen H., "Using the Past to Inform the Future: An Historiography of Hawaii’s Asian and Pacific Islander Americans," Amerasia Journal 26:1 (2000):55-85. Includes analyses of labor struggles in the making of Hawai‘i.

Taniguchi, Chad, "The First Time: 1979 Hawaii United Public Workers Strike," Amerasia Journal 7:2 (1980):1-28.

Taylor, Paul S., The Sailors’ Union of the Pacific (New York: Ronald Press Company, 1923). Formation of the union was partly motivated by threat of Chinese job competition.

Thomas, Wendell Marshall, Hinduism Invades America (New York: Beacon Press, 1930). Presents the argument for the exclusion of immigrant workers from India.

Thompson, David E., "The ILWU as a Force for Interracial Unity in Hawaii," Social Process in Hawaii 15 (1951). Role of the ILWU in fighting for interracial solidarity.

Trask, Haunani-Kay, "Settlers of Color and ‘Immigrant’ Hegemony: ‘Locals’ in Hawa‘i," Amerasia Journal 26:2 (2000):1-24. Reinterprets Asian immigrant history in Hawai‘i as a "settler" and colonial history benefiting from the subjugation of the Hawaiian people.

Trask, Miliani, "Historical and Contemporary Hawaiian Self-Determination: A Native Hawaiian Perspective," Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law 8 (1991): 77-91. Includes information on the labor oppression of native Hawaiians.

Tsukashima, Ronad Tadao, "Notes on Emerging Collective Action – Trade Guilds among Japanese Americans in the Gardening Industry," International Migration Review 32 (1998):374-400. Traces the formation of Japanese American gardeners’ federation in Southern California.

Tsutsumi, Takashi, History of Hawaiian Laborers’ Movement (Honolulu: Hawaii Sugar Planters’ Association, 1921). Translated by Umetaro Okumura. Detailed account of 1920 sugar workers’ strike.

Vallangca, Robert V., ed., Pinoy: the First Wave: 1898-1941 (San Francisco: Strawberry Press, 1977). History of early Filipino immigrants in America.

Vatuk, Ved Prakashh and Sylvia Vatuk, "Protest Songs of East Indians on the West Coast, U.S.A.," in Ved Prakash Varuk, ed., Thieves in My House: Four Studies in Indian Folklore of Protest and Change (Bhairavanath, Varanasi, India: publisher, 1969). Lives of early immigrants from India in America.

Vera Cruz, Philip, "An Interview with Philip Vera Cruz," Roots: An Asian American Reader, edited by Tachiki, Amy, et al. (Los Angeles: UCLA Asian American Studies Center, 1971), 305-310. Conducted by the editorial staff of Roots, this interview focuses on the role of Filipino immigrants in uniting with Mexican Americans to found California farmworkers’ unions in the mid-1960s.

Vera Cruz, Philip, "Sour Grapes: Symbol of Oppression," Roots: An Asian American Reader, edited by Tachiki, Amy, et al. (Los Angeles: UCLA Asian American Studies Center, 1971), 302-304. A personal history of Filipino immigrant farmworkers from the 1930s to the 1960s by the well-known labor leader. Originally published in Gidra newspaper, November 1970, Los Angeles, California.

Villapando, Venny, "Eighty Years of Toil in Hawaii," Ang Katipunan (August 1987):12+. Filipino immigrant workers in Hawai‘i.

Wang, Xinyang, "Economic Opportunity, Artisan Leadership, and Immigrant Workers’ Labor Militancy: Italian and Chinese Immigrant Workers in New York City, 1890-1970," Labor History 37:4 (1996):480-499. Analysis linking U.S. workers’ struggles and their former homelands.

Wei, William, "The Anti-Chinese Movement in Colorado: Interethnic Competition and Conflict on the Eve of Exclusion," Chinese America: History and Perspectives (1995):179-197. Includes information about anti-Chinese sentiment by early American unions.

Weingarten, Victor, Raising Cane: A Brief History of Labor in Hawaii (Honolulu: International Longshoremen and Warehousemen Union, 1946). Includes information about labor struggles of early Asian immigrants.

Wells, Merle, "Twentieth-century Migrant Farm Labor, " Journal of the West 25:2 (April 1986):65-72. Includes information about early Asian agricultural workers.

Wentworth, Edna Louise, Filipino Plantation Workers (New York: Institute of Pacific Relations, 1941). Lives of Filipino immigrants and their labor struggles.

Williams, Marcelle, "Ladies on the Line: Punjabi Cannery Workers in Central California," in Asian Women United, ed., Making Waves: An Anthology of Writings By and About Asian American Women (Boston: Beacon Press, 1989), 148-159. Lives of early immigrants from India in California.

Wilson, Margaret and Jeffery L. Macdonald, "The Impact of the ‘Iron Chink’ on the Chinese Salmon Cannery Workers of Puget Sound," Annals of the Chinese Historical Society of Pacific Northwest (1984):79-89. Chinese immigrants in the canned salmon industry.

Wollenberger, Charles, "Race and Class in Rural California: The El Monte Berry Strike of 1933," California Historical Quarterly 51:2 (Summer 1972). Includes information about the role of Japanese and Filipino immigrants.

Wong, Elsie, "Coolie Labor: An Annotated Bibliography," Asian American Review 2:1 (1975):202-208. Overview of labor exploitation of early Asian immigrants.

Wong, H. K., Gum Sahn Yun (San Francisco: Chinese Historical Society of America, 1988). Collection of oral history accounts by Chinese in first half of the twentieth century.

"Writings of Carlos Bulosan," Amerasia Journal 6:1 (Fall 1978). Special theme issue containing prose and poetry of Carlos Bulosan, including writings about the Filipino American labor movement.

Wunder, John R., "South Asians, Civil Rights, and the Pacific Northwest: The 1907 Bellingham Anti-Asian Riots and Subsequent Citizenship and Deportation Struggles," Western Legal History 4:1 (1991):59-68. Anti-Asian agitation against South Asian immigrants.

Yamato, Alexander, "Racial Antagonism and the Formation of Segmented Labor Markets: Japanese Americans and Their Exclusion from the Work Force," Humboldt Journal of Social Relations 20:1 (1994):31-63. Japanese Americans in the San Francisco laundry industry during 1900s.

Yang, Eun-sik, Korean Americans, 1903-1965: An Annotated Bibliography (Los Angeles: UCLA Asian American Studies Center, 1990). Includes information about early labor struggle of Korean immigrants.

Yoneda, Karl, "A Brief History of Japanese Labor in Hawaii," Hawaii Pono Journal 1 (October 1971). Overview of Japanese immigrant labor struggles in Hawai‘i.

Yoneda, Karl, Ganbatte: Sixty-Year Struggle of a Kibei Worker (Los Angeles: UCLA Asian American Studies Center, 1983). Personal perspectives on Japanese American history from the early twentieth century through the 1970s from a member of the Communist Party who organized Japanese immigrants, including labor struggles.

Yoneda, Karl, "Asian Pacific Workers and the U.S. Labor Movement," Nature Society and Thought 1 (1988):436-443. Overview of Asian immigrant labor struggles.

Yoneda, Karl, "One Hundred Years of Japanese Labor in the U.S.A.," Roots: An Asian American Reader, edited by Tachiki, Amy, et al. (Los Angeles: UCLA Asian American Studies Center, 1971), 150-158. Based on the author’s book in Japanese language, "Japanese Labor History in the USA," published in 1967.

Yoneda, Karl, Zai-Bei Nihonjin rodosha no Rekishi (History of Japanese laborers in America) (Tokyo: Shin Nihon Shuppansha, 1976). Description of key labor struggles of Japanese immigrants.

Yoshitomi, Joan, Paul Ong, Karen Ko, and Joanne T. Fujita, Asians in the Northwest: An Annotated Bibliography (Seattle: Northwest Asian American Studies Program, University of Washington, 1978). Includes information about labor struggles of Asian immigrants.

Young, Nancy Foon, The Chinese in Hawaii: An Annotated Bibliography (Honolulu: SSRI, University of Hawai‘i, 1973). Includes information about labor struggles of early Chinese immigrants.

Yu, Renqui, To Save China, To Save Ourselves: The Chinese Hand Laundry Alliance of New York (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1992). Chinese hand laundry operators organize collectively for justice as immigrants while also providing solidarity for China’s independence movement.

Yung, Judy, Chinese Women of America: A Pictorial History (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1986). Includes information on labor organizing drives by early Chinese immigrant women and U.S.-born generations.

Yung, Judy, Unbound Feet: A Social History of Chinese Women in San Francisco (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995). Includes information on labor organizing drives by early Chinese immigrant women and U.S.-born generations.










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