Resolution on Women’s Committee

  Whereas, working women have agitated strongly and vigilantly for union and civil rights since the birth of the labor movement;

  Whereas, working women have, in concert with their union brothers, elevated organized labor’s missions and vision for all working families;

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  Whereas, working women have substantially narrowed the gap between the rate of union membership of women and men;

  Whereas, the Texas AFL-CIO is committed to providing an environment free from discrimination and harassment and has adopted the AFL-CIO Code of Conduct;

  Whereas, working women in all walks of the labor movement have played a vital role by partnering with their brothers to promote key issues of concern to working families, including equal pay, affordable health care, retirement security, higher wages, access to affordable childcare, workplace safety, access to unions, industrial due process and access to paid sick leave;

  Whereas, the Texas AFL-CIO believes organized labor is stronger when women stand shoulder to shoulder with their union brothers in leadership;

  NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Texas AFL-CIO shall remain steadfast in its commitment to advance women into the full spectrum of union leadership and activist positions throughout the union; and

  BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Texas AFL-CIO shall provide women members with more leadership training and educational opportunities; and

  BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, the 2018 Committee on Political Education urges the expansion of the Women’s Committee to include funding and to carry out an exceptional and unparalleled union leadership training, education, and empowerment program.

Resolution on Helping Eligible Immigrant Workers Become Citizens

Whereas, at least nine million aspiring citizens contribute to our communities, our economy and our country, but effectively miss out on workplace rights and other essential rights in our society;

  Whereas, the union movement recognizes the way we treat aspiring citizens reflects our commitment to democracy and the values that define us;

  Whereas, union-led citizenship drives provide concrete worker protections, expand and diversify the electorate, and help us build power to win the sweeping changes that working people expect and deserve;

  Whereas, the Texas AFL-CIO and affiliates have occasionally sponsored and participated in citizenship forums that provide general assistance to working people applying for naturalization in the strong belief that these activities build a better future for all workers;

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  NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Texas AFL-CIO and affiliates will conduct citizenship drives across the state of Texas and partner with allies to provide citizenship forums and general assistance with the naturalization process;

  BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that COPE delegates are encouraged to open Central Labor Council or other union halls and urge affiliated unions to host citizenship and workers’ rights classes in partnership with allies or, where appropriate, as a labor movement initiative; and

  BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, the Texas AFL-CIO will identify key locals and mount citizenship drives, voter registration and get-out-the-vote efforts that will change the political environment for labor and enhance workers’ ability to organize. 

Resolution on Trade

  WHEREAS, the failure of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the passage in Texas of “Buy American” legislation and a broader consensus that NAFTA needs improvement have emphasized the importance of workplace rights in negotiating trade deals;

  WHEREAS, the labor movement supports trade treaties that offer a Global New Deal for working families, instead of a “race to the bottom”;

  WHEREAS, a bipartisan consensus has formed that multinational corporate dominance of trade policy has been harmful to working people, promoting lower wages, fewer labor rights and weaker protections against environmental degradation;

  WHEREAS, the AFL-CIO has proposed a strong set of principles that should apply in a rewrite of NAFTA (https://aflcio.org/sites/default/files/2018-01/NAFTA2pagerbug.pdf);

  WHEREAS, the AFL-CIO said, “These rules must ensure working people can join together to negotiate for better wages and working conditions. They must ensure citizens are free to make decisions about our economy, including being free from the threat of unlimited investor-state dispute settlement lawsuits by foreign corporations. They must promote investment in our roads, ports, and schools and promote ‘Buy American’ provisions to create jobs locally.”

  NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the delegates to the 59th Texas AFL-CIO COPE Convention strongly endorse the recommendations that the AFL-CIO has made to improve NAFTA for working people and the environment; and

  BE IT FURTHER  RESOLVED, that the AFL-CIO strongly supports language in trade treaties that leaves space for the U.S. to approve “Buy American” laws like SB 1289. 

Resolution on Candidates Who Engage in Union-Busting Activities

  Whereas, the Texas AFL-CIO COPE endorses candidates who advocate strongly for working families in Texas in both word and deed;

  Whereas, candidates of any occupation can seek COPE support by developing a record of support for working families;

  Whereas, likewise, candidates who demonstrate hostility to labor unions are certain to draw opposition in COPE deliberations;

  Whereas, deeds sometimes speak louder than words, and candidates who profess support for working people but who zealously undermine the ability of working people to speak up together for a better workplace do not deserve the support of a labor organization;

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  Whereas, in 2018, some candidates running for public office in Texas as Democrats and Republicans have worked and associated themselves professionally with efforts to undermine the ability of working people to form unions;

  Whereas, COPE delegates believe union-busting activities by political candidates merit public exposure;

  NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that delegates to the 2018 Texas AFL-CIO COPE Convention intend to publicly oppose candidates who engage in union-busting in the course of their professional work; and

  BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that COPE delegates will expose such activity in the course of political campaigns and seek to warn pro-labor voters and our allies that a candidate who engages in or supports union-busting activity is not going to have the support of working men and women.

Resolution on Independent Political Action

  Whereas, the AFL-CIO Executive Council, recognizing that “the political system has failed working people,” in October 2017 adopted a resolution on the importance of independent political action by a united labor movement;

  Whereas, Texas AFL-CIO COPE delegates recognize along with the AFL-CIO that unions “are the last bulwark of working people” and that the rules of the political system have been set up too often to produce a choice between the “lesser of two evils”;

  Whereas, the imbalance of power that now exists can only be addressed by programs that drive a united labor movement, including members, retirees, families, neighbors and allies, to the polls;

  Whereas, the AFL-CIO committed to these principles in carrying out independent political action:

·       Define a pro-worker agenda across the sectors of our movement to hold as a joint standard for all candidates and officials, regardless of party;

·       Establish a communications framework to communicate our agenda across the federation and with our allies;

·       Prioritize year-round member-to-member communication as part of a commitment to heightened internal organizing and workplace education;

·       Mobilize working people who are not yet in unions;

·       Promote effective models for recruiting, training, mentoring and supporting union brothers and sisters running for elected office; and

·       Promote greater participation in the democratic process by opposing voter suppression and boosting participation by young people, seniors and people of color.

  NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that Texas AFL-CIO COPE delegates join the AFL-CIO in committing to work across unions, across sectors and across communities to find common ground and to exercise our power to grow our movement through independent political participation; and

  BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that COPE delegates will work aggressively to “foster a new generation of elected representatives who share our aspirations” and develop a political system in which the rules benefit all working people.