Memories of the 1982 ILGWU Strike in New York Chinatown

Katie Quan

Posted with permission of the publisher. “Memories of the 1982 ILGWU Strike in New York Chinatown,” Amerasia Journal, 35:1 (2009):76-91.


In June 1982, more than 20,000 immigrant women garment workers went on strike in New York Chinatown to demand a good contract. Their employers demanded deep cutbacks in wages and benefits, and threatened to withdraw from the union altogether if their demands weren’t met. However at the sight of thousands of immigrant women workers marching through the streets of Chinatown, the employers quickly withdrew their demands, and within hours the workers and their union had won the strike…