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Texas workers want unions – every Texan

Another result of the nationwide decline in union membership and union coverage is that while U.S. workers' productivity continues to rise, their wages cannot keep up. The Institute for Economic Policy shows the gap that workers feel between their wallets and their productivity.

Texans support a worker's right to join a union, even when our elected officials do not

This is what history shows us“right to work” is a politics shaped by the wealthiest Texans who are afraid of sharing power with a unified, multiracial working class. Vance Musea Texas oil tycoon, was instrumental in its founding “Right to work” (for less) policies that continue to undermine the freedom of working families and unions today. Muse feared that if white and black workers began to address their collective concerns through unions, unions would change the “racial order” in Texas. This damaging anti-union and racist legacy continues today our elected officials Manipulate the rules and attack the freedoms of union workers. The Richest Companies and Employers in Texas challenge illegally the ability of workers to form and join unions – in the end it costs us all.

Worker-friendly policies ensure shared prosperity for all

To grow Texas' multiracial middle class and strengthen our democracy, we need more unionized working families. While organizing is critical, we also need concrete policy changes to achieve justice in the system. Below are family- and worker-friendly policy solutions that give working families their fair share and ensure them the freedom to earn a good living.

Texas employers should stop using union avoidance consultants and lawyers:

  • Employers should not hire union avoidance law firms to prevent employees from exercising their right to form and join unions. The Institute for Economic Policy It is estimated that employers spend $433 million each year on union avoidance. As the data shows, unions form a strong middle class; Employers should not be opposed to a stronger economy for working families.
  • Employers should stop using private public meetings to discourage employers from unionizing. Employers use captivating audience meetings Imposing their political, religious or anti-union views on their employees. The Texas Legislature may adopt a state policy to protect an employee's right to oppose political and religious expression in the workplace. Eighteen states have adopted policies protecting employee freedoms in the workplace.

Union notification to public sector employees allows Texans to know their rights:

  • All public sector workers should be informed by their employer of their right to join a union and work together for pay increases, better benefits and improved working conditions. Many local and state employees are unaware of their right to join unions because the state prohibits public collective bargaining or contract negotiations. Regardless of the ban, all Public sector employees have the right to work together through a union for wage increases and better working conditions.

All employees must have collective bargaining rights: The National Labor Relations Act of 1935which protected private sector workers' right to collective bargaining, excluded public sector, domestic and agricultural workers as a concession to conservative elected officials in the South who feared desegregation.

  • Public sector employees: In Texas, police and firefighters can negotiate their pay, benefits and working conditions together. However, public education staff and teachers Despite it need Collective bargaining rights to improve pay, working conditions and the quality of education for Texas' 5.5 million public school students. All public employees, including local and state employees in Texas, should have the right to collective bargaining.
  • Domestic and agricultural workers: Nursing work is systematically undervalued in Texas, leading to a shortage of workers in the sector. It is also concerning that employers are exploiting farm workers Violence, fraud and coercionContribution to a high incidence of human trafficking. Collective bargaining is an important tool for workers to increase their wages. improving access to employer-sponsored benefits; and create safe and dignified working conditions.

Reverse “right to work” (for less money):

  • Wages of employees in the “right to work” States are lower. Federal law already protects employees' decisions to join or not join a union. “Right to work” undermines union dues-paying workers by allowing non-union dues-paying workers to receive the benefits of a collective bargaining agreement without paying their fair share of the costs. “Right to work” indicates experience lower union density, This not only means lower wages, but also less access Employer-sponsored health and retirement benefits.
  • Michigan — the first state to do so in 60 years — repealed its state “right to work” law in 2023. Voters and their elected representatives rejected the “right to work” because there is a wealth gap between them Michigan's middle class and the wealthy few greatly expanded with the adoption of the directive in 2012.

Texas workers have fought hard for shared prosperity. Politics must keep pace.

Most Texans We believe unions are good for working people, but many of us may not be aware of Texas' rich labor history. Amid the most hostile employer discrimination (and often government-sponsored), Texas union members fight hard for shared prosperity and improved protections. As Texans, we can proudly point to examples of our collective labor history: Emma Tenayuca and the San Antonio pecan shellers' strike in 1938; Rosa Flores and the Farah strike of 1970; Maria Moreno with the Agriculture Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC) from 1959; The International Ladies' Garment Workers Union (ILGW) strikes (1930s-1940s) in Dallas, Laredo and San Antonio; The Folded meat cutters Fighting for food processing hygiene in East Texas in 1953; Nurses' strikes for safe, patient-centered staffing in 2023 and much more. The CIO of the Texas AFL maintains a work history Resource page for further reading.

Texas labor activists and unionized workers are courageously fighting for a better quality of life every Texan. Today, as the data shows, more and more Texas workers are joining unions and demanding their freedom to thrive. Joining a union is the first step in ridding our economy of corporate greed. Equally important is our coordinated advocacy and organizing for pro-worker policies that can shift the balance of power from the wealthy few into the hands of the working families who drive our state's economic prosperity.

This research in the State of Working Texans is supported by the Economic Policy Institute. Every Texan lives their values ​​and is proudly represented by Every Texan United, a bargaining unit of Non-profit professional employees union.

Anna Harden

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