Chinese Hand Laundry Alliance of New York (CHLA)

Organization formed on 23 April 1933 to protest an ordinance forcing Chinese hand laundries in New York City to cease operations. It defeated the ordinance and became the foremost agency in the struggle for the economic, political, and civil rights of Chinese laundry workers; it also helped to launch the Chinese language newspaper China Daily News (1940-89). At its peak, the organization had 3200 members. During the 1950s it was harassed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for alleged ties to communism, and several members were deported. The alliance took part in the civil rights movement of the 1960s and remained in operation into the 1990s.

Renqiu Yu. To Save China, to Save Ourselves: The Chinese Hand Laundry Alliance. (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1992).”

Excerpted from: Jackson, Kenneth, ed. The Encyclopedia of New York City. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995.

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