We Are One

Honoring Immigrant Garment Workers

SECTION 3: Rally and March, June 24 and July 15, 1982

The rally in Columbus Park on June 24th, 1982 was the largest in the history of the local, and the largest in the Chinatown community. Nearly 20,000 garment workers and their allies showed up to demand a contract equal to that of garment workers outside of Chinatown. They shocked employers, who expected the mostly immigrant, mostly Chinese speaking and mostly married workers to follow tradition and stay out of the public eye.

Many of the same workers gathered again on July 15, to pressure the minority of employers who had not yet signed the contract to do so. You can glimpse their energy in these photos of the large crowd that marched through the streets of Chinatown, ending with a second rally in Columbus Park. Within 24 hours the remaining contracts had been signed.