LOS ANGELES, CA — July 14, 2021 — Asian Americans Advancing Justice (Advancing Justice) congratulates its former Los Angeles-based Litigation Director Julie Su as the next Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice, an affiliation of five independent Asian American civil rights organizations, releases the following statement:
“Advancing Justice celebrates the confirmed appointment of our alumnus, Julie Su. Julie is an Asian American leader and civil rights attorney who, for decades through the nonprofit and public sectors, has been dedicated to the well-being of all workers, immigrants, women, and people of color. As Deputy Director, she will bring important considerations of race and equity to policymaking decisions at the Department of Labor.
For more than 15 years, Julie Su played a pivotal role at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles by leading the litigation on landmark civil and workers’ rights cases. Most notable was her work on the Thai Garment Workers Case (Bureerong v. Uvawas) where Julie led a legal team that filed a lawsuit on behalf of 102 Thai garment workers who had been exploited and enslaved by sweatshop operators. Julie’s leadership expanded workers’ rights in the state of California and nationally. The suit challenged the sweatshop operators, as well as the retailers and manufacturers that profited off their labor. This was the first federal lawsuit of its kind, not only setting the precedent in holding manufacturers and retailers accountable for the conditions in which their clothes are made but leading to new federal laws protecting immigrants who are trafficked into the country. In May 1999, the case ended in settlements that exceeded $4 million from more than 10 manufacturers and private label retailers.
We commend President Biden for bringing AAPI representation to this important federal agency and urge him to continue to include our community in national leadership positions. The fight against anti-Asian racism and incidents of hate remains an urgent issue. We need more voices and advocates at the highest levels of government.”