Aparna Kumar,

Issued March 16, 2022

SEIU's Henry: Anti-Asian violence must not be tolerated as we recognize the anniversary of the API spa workers killed in Atlanta

WASHINGTON, DC. - Service Employees International Union (SEIU) International President Mary Kay Henry released the following statement today on the one-year anniversary of the murders of API women in Atlanta:

"One year after Asian Pacific Islander spa workers in Atlanta were killed in a tragic attack fueled by hate, SEIU's 2 million members condemn the surge of xenophobic and racist violence against API people we have witnessed across the country. While we reflect on the lives lost and pray for healing for those families most directly affected by this ongoing tragedy, we continue to demand justice on behalf of all those who have lost loved ones due to racialized and gender-based violence.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, hate crimes against API people have risen dramatically. Most recently, the nation was shocked by the murders of Michelle Alyssa Go and Christina Yuna Lee in New York City and, just last week, the brutal assault of another woman in Yonkers. Every person, regardless of their race, ethnicity, immigration status or gender identification deserves to feel safe not only in their workplaces, but when going about their daily lives – in their neighborhoods, on public transportation, in schools, in places of worship, and in shopping centers. We stand in solidarity with immigrant and API workers and small business owners who have been made to feel terrorized and unprotected even as they served on the frontlines during the pandemic, keeping our economy open, from hospitals to airports, fast food restaurants, and beauty salons.

We stand in solidarity with API workers who are trying to organize in nail salons and other industries where women and minorities have been subject to exploitative and unsafe conditions. SEIU is committed to being an anti-racist organization and is proud to represent the largest number of API members in the labor movement. Today, we recommit ourselves to ensure API workers feel protected and respected within our union and in our communities – not just to reflect, but to take meaningful action. We call for restorative justice and healing as well as the right for every worker to join together in a union, a pathway to citizenship for immigrant workers, and Temporary Protected Status for people from other countries who look to America as a beacon of freedom, safety and human rights.”