APALA Mourns Loss of National President John Delloro
Washington D.C. – The Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA),
AFL-CIO mourns the unexpected loss of its National President, John
Delloro, who passed away from a heart attack. Elected in 2009 as one of
the youngest leaders to this position, Delloro also served as Executive
Director of the Dolores Huerta Labor Institute where he was a member of
the American Federation of Teachers.
“We are all saddened by the sudden passing of John Delloro, a
brilliant young labor leader, who made incredible contributions to APALA
and to the U.S. labor movement” said Luisa Blue, APALA First Vice
Although Delloro was recently elected as the APALA National President,
his dedication and commitment to serving working people dates back
almost two decades. He was a student leader and activist at UCLA, where
he received his B.A. in Psychology in 1994, and his M.A. in Asian
American Studies in 1996. Soon after, Delloro was introduced to APALA
as a participant in the APALA Organizing Institute, a program that has
trained the next generation of Asian Pacific American union organizers
and community activists.
Delloro’s first position in the labor movement was organizing hotel
workers in Las Vegas, Nevada with the Culinary Workers Union 226. He
went on to organize clerical workers with AFSCME, and health care
workers with SEIU 399 in Los Angeles, California. While at SEIU 399, he
created a member organizer program that trained hundreds of rank and
file members that actively participated in external organizing
campaigns. In 2003, he was promoted to the Southwest Area Manager of
SEIU 1000, the largest state workers union in the country at the time,
with close to 100,000 members.
In 2006, he was hired as the first Executive Director of the Dolores
Huerta Labor Institute, an organization that is expanding labor studies
curriculum within the Los Angeles Community College District, which has
over 130,000 students. Under his leadership, the program has
strengthened labor studies on all nine campuses, and has exposed
thousands of community college students to unions. Since 2007, he has
also taught Asian American Studies at UCLA, and has inspired and
mentored hundreds of students.
Delloro also served as President of the APALA Los Angeles chapter where
he played a leadership role in expanding labor, community and student
partnerships. Under his leadership as National President, APALA and
the AFL-CIO convened the first National Asian Pacific American
Workers’ Rights Hearing in Washington D.C. in November 2009.
Following the hearing, Delloro was a principal author in Breaking
Ground, Breaking Silence: a report from the first National Asian Pacific
American Workers’ Rights Hearing. In 2009, Delloro received the
Unsung Hero Award by Asian Pacific Americans for Progress.
“As a nationally recognized union leader, labor educator, organizer,
teacher and mentor, John Delloro touched the lives of many and will be
remembered for his compassion, his generosity of spirit, and for his
visionary leadership,” said Kent Wong, APALA Founding President.
John Delloro is survived by his wife Dr. Susan Suh, a sociologist and
community activist, and their two young children, Mina and Malcolm.