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  Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, the COPE-endorsed candidate for Lieutenant Governor, shone brightly in the lone debate that her opponent, Sen. Dan Patrick, has agreed to in this election cycle.

  Patrick advocated for a sale tax hike of up to two cents, an end to in-state tuition for Dreamers, no expansion of health care coverage for the working poor and other "just say 'no'!" positions. Sen. Van de Putte called for free community college tuition, supported health care expansion that would cover hundreds of thousands and bring 200,000 jobs to the state, and noted she has released her tax returns while Patrick has not.

  The Texas AFL-CIO mourns the passing of Dorothy Taylor Gunn, wife of former Texas AFL-CIO President Joe D. Gunn, who died unexpectedly on Saturday.

  For most people, getting along in the labor movement requires at least occasional use of sharp elbows. That wasn’t the case with Dorothy Gunn, whose loving devotion to her husband and family extended to thousands of lucky union families across Texas.

  Dorothy was not just a great complement to Joe, but a respected member of the union movement in her own right who participated actively in organizing and politics. In fact, she had taken part in a South Austin Democrats meeting with Joe just a couple of days before her death.

  All of us join in wishing the Gunn family condolences. Arrangements are included in the news release at the link.

Today is National Voter Registration Day and while volunteers around the country will be on street corners, outside of groceries stores, at bus and subway stops and elsewhere to help people register, you can get started right now, right here with just one click. If we’re going to beat back the attack on working families by the likes of Mitch McConnell, Scott Walker, the Koch brothers and other extremists, all of us—you and your family and friends—must be registered to vote. Read more >>>

The first debate between Sen. Wendy Davis, the COPE-endorsed gubernatorial candidate, and Attorney General Greg Abbott is in the books, with Davis hitting a home run on issues that matter most to working families.

Texas AFL-CIO President Becky Moeller praised Davis's command of workplace issues and said Abbott's policies would help a limited elite while leaving out too many Texans.

We're on our phones all day, returning that text from mom, checking fantasy football scores and deleting all those pesky store emails we don't remember signing up for, but it's about time we use our phones for what they're made for: human conversations. If you don’t want 2014 to be a repeat of 2010, it’s time to pick up that phone and make a call to make sure working people in critical states turn out to vote in this election. Read more >>>

  The International Association of Machinists (IAM) is organizing workers at another army depot in Texas.

 On the heels of two organizing wins at the Corpus Christi Army Depot, IAM is now seeking to sign up about 1,000 Service Contract workers at the Red River Army Depot near Texarkana, IAM Communications Director Bob Wood reports.

  The activity prompted a visit by Texas AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer John Patrick.

  Sen. Wendy Davis, the COPE-backed candidate for Texas governor, backs a state minimum wage increase to $10 an hour. Her opponent, Attorney General Greg Abbott, opposes increasing the minimum wage, and in fact, his political party in Texas wants to abolish the minimum wage altogether.

  Texas AFL-CIO President Becky Moeller posted a statement on this subject.

Training Up Down Under

In 2012, the Plumbers and Pipefitters (UA) and Australia’s Plumbing Trades Employees Union (PTEU) entered into a unique affiliation agreement to combat global climate change by sharing industry best practices, particularly around alternate forms of energy generation, such as biofuels and geothermal technology. The affiliation allows for joint skills training and employment initiatives in the United States, Canada and Australia. Read the full article>>>

It's pretty frustrating seeing all the headlines that claim the economy is alive and kicking. Sure, there is economic growth and a steady increase in jobs, but what kind of jobs are we talking about exactly? Well, they aren't the kind of jobs we think of first when it comes to steady, middle-class jobs. No big surprise here, low-wage service sector jobs like those in the fast-food industry are seeing the biggest gains. Bryce Covert at The New Republic has a nice summary of what America's workers are up against when it comes to wages. Read more >>>

When President Barack Obama first announced his candidacy for president, he said: “I am running in this race because of what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called ‘the fierce urgency of now.’ Because I believe that there’s such a thing as being too late. And that hour is almost upon us.” Like Dr. King, our president was calling on America to make real the promises of our democracy. That fierce urgency of now is here for thousands of refugee children from Central America. I know many of these kids’ stories because it is my story, too. Read more >>>

  The race to victory for COPE-endorsed candidates on Nov. 4 hinges on walking, not running.

  The Texas AFL-CIO and Central Labor Councils across Texas need you to volunteer at least two of your Saturday mornings this fall to help block-walk on behalf of labor's endorsed candidates.

  Every voter you greet can put us one vote closer to building a better Texas. It will take a broad base of activists to win this election. You can be part of the change that's coming.

  Texas AFL-CIO Legislative/Political Director Rene Lara has posted signup information below. Send us your contact information and we will be in touch.


  Here is a list of 2014 Texas AFL-CIO COPE endorsements for statewide, congressional and legislative elections.

  The list will be updated as Central Labor Council and Texas AFL-CIO COPE actions warrant.

The 2014 Texas AFL-CIO Scholarship Program Winners and 2015 Scholarship information. Read more >>>

Learn more about the attack on pensions and how you can pledge to stop it! Read more >>>

Texas AFL-CIO “Labor News” is published monthly
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