Emotional labor is a form of emotion regulation that creates a publicly visible facial and bodily display. While emotion work happens within the private sphere, emotional labor is emotional management within the workforce that creates a situation in which the emotion management by workers can be exchanged in the marketplace. Example professions that require emotional labor are: nurses,doctors,waiting staff, and television actors However, as the U.S. economy moves from a manufacturing to a service-based economy, many more workers in a variety of occupational fields are expected to manage their emotions according to employer demands when compared to sixty years ago.
Emotional labor in the context of the piece on allies I’m guessing you’re referring to (it would really help if you would specify) would probably mean expecting the people you’re allied with to manage their feelings about their oppression around you, and create a display that you’re more comfortable with. But you should really ask this of the author of the piece and not me, because they’re the ones who wrote it and chose that phrase.