In our regular weekly feature, we’ll be taking a look at the winners and losers of the week in the struggle for the rights of working families. The winners will be the persons or organizations that go above and beyond to expand or protect the rights of working families, while the losers will be whoever went above and beyond to limit or deny those rights.
Exciting things are happening in Texas. The Machinists (IAM) today announced a second important organizing victory, this time for 475 office and clerical personnel employed by L3 at the Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD) in Corpus Christi. This follows an April organizing win for 450 helicopter mechanics and technicians at the same facility.
Paul Ferris is the president of AFGE Local 2516 in El Paso, Texas. He and the other members of his unit work at William Beaumont Army Medical Center, treating active duty service members who are between tours of duty or preparing to go overseas. The latest episode of the "I Am AFGE" video series takes a look at the work Paul and his fellow AFGE members do on behalf of our troops.
The AFL-CIO Executive Council is meeting in Texas this week as a sign of confidence that the southern state has great potential for workers who are organizing on the job. A Houston Chronicle profile takes a look at efforts in Texas and goals for broader organizing efforts in the South.
This past Wednesday, after two years of neighborhood organizing, street actions, community forums, strategy meetings and justice buses led by the Fe y Justicia Worker Center, Houston workers won a historic Wage Theft Ordinance. The Houston City Council made history passing the first municipal ordinance cracking down on wage theft in Texas and only the second in a major metropolis in the U.S. South.
The answer, it seems, is "not without an affidavit." Davis, a Democrat who is running for governor of the Lone Star State in 2014, attempted to vote early in this year's elections in Fort Worth when she was told by poll workers that she had to sign an affidavit in order to vote under Gov. Rick Perry's new voter disenfranchisement law. The candidate's identification showed both her maiden and married names, Wendy Russell Davis, while the voter registration rolls only included her married last name, reading "Wendy Davis." Because the names didn't match exactly, she was required to sign an affidavit to vote.
Several hundred construction workers in Austin, Texas—mostly immigrants—and their supporters from faith, union and community groups saw their months-long fight for respect and fair wages come to a successful conclusion when the Austin City Council last week passed an ordinance requiring employers on construction projects that receive city economic incentives pay prevailing wages, provide safety training and other worker protections.
Neutex Advanced Energy Group, a Houston-based maker of LED lights, light bulbs and fixtures, brought its core manufacturing operation from China back to the United States last year and turned to the Electrical Workers (IBEW) to staff its facility.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) is quickly establishing himself as the most aggressive job piracy governor in the nation, and the evidence shows that he is also one of the most partisan. He has taken six consecutive trips to states with Democratic governors in an attempt to lure businesses from those states to his own. A new report from Good Jobs First raises some very troubling questions about the financing of those trips.