Members of the Reagan High School band stopped rush hour traffic yesterday in front of the federal building in Austin, Texas, along with hundreds of advocates, community leaders, families and construction workers, as they celebrated the Workers Defense Project’s (WDP's) biannual Day of the Fallen.
Twice a year, the Workers Defense Project (WDP) in Austin, Texas, celebrates the Day of the Fallen through an action march and rally. On Wednesday, Feb. 27, more than 600 community supporters, activists, advocates and construction workers are expected to attend and join in the call for good, safe jobs for Texas construction workers. The WDP and community allies will meet at the state Capitol in Austin and show elected officials why people working in construction deserve more than low pay and few benefits.
The nation’s broken immigration system is creating a crisis for workers and employers in the Texas construction industry. A new study by the Workers Defense Project (WDP) and the University of Texas finds that as many as half of the Lone Star State’s construction workers may be undocumented. Says WDP Executive Director Cristina Tzintzun:
Our immigration policies are broken. They’re not working for businesses, they’re not working for our workers and they’re not working for our state.
Unions and organizations that advocate for workers are teaming up to improve the conditions of all workers in Texas. The Workers Defense Project and the Texas State Building and Construction Trades Council have seen quite a bit of success in their collaboration on behalf of the working families of the Lone Star State.
Construction workers and others in the Austin, Texas, area are celebrating a coalition victory this week after Travis County commissioners approved a first-ever economic development policy that includes a living wage requirement.
The policy requires contractors asking for tax incentives to move into the county to pay all employees at least $11 per hour. It’s a significant improvement over the prevailing construction hourly wage of $7.50.
The Austin, Texas, worker center Workers Defense Project worker center (WDP) celebrates its 10th anniversary later this month of battling against wage theft, spotlighting the dangers and winning reforms of the Texas construction industry and standing up for workplace justice and immigrants’ rights.
An in-depth article in the current issue of The Austin Chronicle traces the history of the WDP worker center, from its 2003 inception as a one-person staffed operation, helping low-income, mostly immigrant Austin workers pursue wage theft claims, to its present day incarnation as an influential 1,000-member force and partner with the union movement in the championing of workers’ rights, especially in the construction industry, with an estimated 60% Latino workforce.
This is a cross-post from Huffington Post's Spanish-language site Voces by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.
Christian Hurtado’s story shows the potential of the new workers' rights movement. It's a story worth telling this month, days after we celebrated Labor Day and as we prepare to celebrate Latino Heritage Month.
When his father Angel died in a work-related accident in 2004, Christian's life took an unexpected turn. Christian, 29, and his family don’t know the exact details of the accident, which happened while his father, an independent construction worker, was doing work inside a small warehouse in Austin, Texas. Christian’s family was devastated, especially his mom Victoria.