Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Profile: Chad Yokoyama

Chad Yokoyama

For Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month this year, the AFL-CIO is spotlighting various Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who have worked and continue to work at the intersection of civil and labor rights in the United States. Today's profile is Chad Yokoyama of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART).

Chad Yokoyama grew up in a union household and followed in his father's footsteps, becoming a UAW member in 1994. Yokoyama began his railroad career in 2012 with BNSF Railway as a conductor. He was promoted to engineer in 2014. As a member of SMART Local 1687 in Belen, New Mexico, Yokoyama became involved with the union early in his career. He has served as a local chairperson, as well as delegate and alternate legislative representative. In 2018, Yokoyama was hired to work on the SMART-TD Human Rights Committee, which was renamed the Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Also in 2018, he became a trainer with the Rail Workers Hazmat Training Program, where his passion for helping protect union members really took hold. Yokoyama was appointed to the SMART Recruitment and Retention Council in 2021. He is currently a member of SMART Local 113 in Winslow, Arizona.