US to induct Chinese railroad workers into Hall of Honour

The US will induct about 12,000 Chinese workers who built trans-pacific railroad between 1865- 1869 into the Labour Hall of Honour, making them the first Asian-Americans to receive such a tribute since the Hall was established in 1988.

PTI| Last Updated: May 08, 2014, 13:00 PM IST

Washington: The US will induct about 12,000 Chinese workers who built trans-pacific railroad between 1865- 1869 into the Labour Hall of Honour, making them the first Asian-Americans to receive such a tribute since the Hall was established in 1988.

US Secretary of Labour Thomas E Perez will formally induct into the Labour Hall of Honour the Chinese immigrant labourers, in recognition of their contribution that connected the US from east to west and laid foundation for the economic prosperity enjoyed by the nation in the years that followed.]

"Many of these workers risked their lives and even perished from the harsh winters and dangerous working conditions. They faced prejudice, low wages and social isolation. Yet, despite these challenges, they courageously took a stand to organise for fairer wages and safer working conditions," the Department of Labour said.

"Their efforts not only stitched our nation together, but also advanced the American ideals of equal opportunity; collective organising and good, safe jobs for all workers, immigrant and American-born alike," it said.

US President Barack Obama in his Presidential Proclamation designated May as Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in part because the Trans-continental Railroad was completed on May 10, 1869.

"On the eve of the 145th anniversary of that accomplishment, we honour these pioneers for their dedication and perseverance to the job of building this great nation and for highlighting the power of immigrant labourers," he said.

The national theme of AAPI Heritage Month 2014 is "I Am Beyond," challenging all Americans to look beyond stereotypes and misguided perceptions of the AAPI communities, which have made profound contributions to the American way of life and the American way of work, the Department of Labour said.