On January 19, 1920 the Filipinos went on strike because they weren’t paid equally for doing the same work. The Filipinos were paid $0.69 and the Japanese would be paid $0.99. Pablo Manlapit led the strike. The Japanese also went on strike.
On the right side in the dark jacket stands Pablo Manlapit with a friend to his left.
While they were on strike, plantation laborers on other islands continued to work raising about $600,000 in support of the strike. The government countered this with a "divide-and-counter" tactic. They charged the Japanese for attempting to make Hawaii an Oriental province. In February, the Filipinos accused the Japanese of wanting to take over Hawaii. Later in the year the Japanese changed their union name to the Hawaiian Federation of Labor, in a last effort to counter the racist accusations. They invited all workers of every race to join.
In 1924, Pablo Manlapit, the labor organizer again called a strike for higher wages and better working conditions. "We Filipinos have to pull together, be united, and we can raise our salary." But Cayetano Ligot, an Ilocano Filipino labor commissioner persuaded the Ilocano workers not to strike. Out of thousands of workers on Kauai, 600 people participated including women and children. Only a few men participated and most of them decided not to strike.
On September 9, 1924 a violent clash between strikers and police took place at Hanapepe strike camp. Armed police had gone to pick up two Ilocanos at the strike camp, believing them to be prisoners of the strikers. How the confrontation started is not clear. Out armed by the police, the strikers fought with cane knives, sticks and a few guns. Sixteen strikers and four policemen were killed. On May 16,1925, seventy-seven male strikers were arrested for criminal trespass, ending the strike on Kauai.