About Us

In 1979, a group of Chinese restaurant workers and a couple of workers from other industries came together and founded the Chinese Staff & Workers’ Association (CSWA). Today CSWA has a membership of over 1,300 workers from various trades and ages, injured and non-injured, documented and undocumented and a leadership composed primarily of women. CSWA is the first contemporary workers’ center bringing together workers across trades to fight for change in the workplace as well as in the community-at-large. Our work prioritizes connecting workers’ individual struggles for daily survival into a collective force to change the root causes of these problems in all aspects of workers’ lives. In response to the super-exploitation that many workers face on a daily basis, and to the multiple barriers of race, gender, age, and immigration status that often compound exploitation, we emphasize developing leadership among working people in NYC’s Chinatowns and to bridge the divides within the Chinese community and beyond; we believe working people, as the creators of society will be the agent for change.